Review Date: 3/25/18
Director: Irvin Kershner
Writer: John Carpenter
Cast: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Lisa Taylor, Darlanne Fluegel
Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is a famous fashion photographer whose provocative work glamorizes sex and violence. When her friends and associates start getting murdered, she develops a supernatural ability to see through the killer's eyes during the moment of the act. Naturally, no one believes her and she's considered a suspect. Lt. John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) is assigned to investigate the case and unwittingly falls in love with Laura, but will police protection be enough when the killer finally comes for her?
It's an enjoyable thriller, but even though it attempts to cast suspicions over everyone, it's immediately obvious who the killer is. It's also not entirely clear what the killer's motivations are, which results in a somewhat unsatisfactory ending. Faye Dunaway is wonderful as Laura Mars, and director Irvin Kershner does a good job representing the world of high end fashion photography. As an amateur photographer myself, I was fascinated by all of the glamour, glitz, and technical aspects. Helmut Newton (one of my favorite fashion photographers), was attached to the film early on as a consultant, but backed out and was replaced by Rebecca Blake. He is still credited in the film and several of his photos can be seen in Laura's gallery, but reportedly Blake shot the majority of Laura's work. I could really resonate with Laura's character. Her work is shocking and society views her as a sick and depraved menace, when she's really just a quiet and serious-minded artist who strives to bring her visions to life. Like many artists, she's very sweet, charming, and completely misunderstood. The supporting cast is quite good and the film is a delightful snapshot of late 70's art culture and the modeling industry.