Bound

Bound ★★★★½

I haven’t seen this since it was on HBO nonstop after 9pm in the late ‘90s, and I watched it many times back then. It’s even better than I remembered. Not just sexy but careful—artfully misdirected at every turn, populated by two perfect screen presences (Gershon and Tilly) who seem to be satirizing their personas (the tough-talking dom; the baby-voiced bombshell) in real time throughout the film. Neither ever had the chance to be this powerful ever again. Half of the film is about a fulfillment of longing and the other half is about unwinding that feeling into something grisly—a true noir. The cultural gravitas of lesbian crime drama has dissipated, in a satisfying way, and evolved into a story about genre expectations and precision. As directorial debuts go, this is as assured as they come. Character details in objects (earrings; paintbrushes; beer bottles) and in dialogue and accents and costuming. No wasted frames. I like the Matrix movies a lot, but none of them have what this movie has: a true sense of danger.