A (Partial) Defense of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

50 Shades of Grey defense

Let’s get this out of the way: Fifty Shades of Grey* has some massively problematic aspects. Its pathologization of dominant sexual behavior is deeply hypocritical, considering that the movie delights in that exact same behavior. And it’s especially distasteful to portray Christian Grey’s taste for BDSM sex as unhealthy while glossing over his borderline abusive behavior outside of the bedroom, like his habit of showing up at Anastasia’s house uninvited or selling off her possessions without asking.

But to consequently dismiss Fifty Shades of Grey as “bad for women” (or men for that matter) does it and its fans a disservice. For all Fifty Shades of Grey gets wrong about adult relationships and BDSM, it still offers something rare and valuable: a portrait of female sexuality that’s entirely by, for, and about women.

(* To clarify, were talking exclusively about Fifty Shades of Grey the movie here. Fifty Shades of Grey the book is a whole different beast, and as I haven’t read it I can’t discuss it.) Read More »

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Fifty Shades of Grey

At about the half-hour mark in Fifty Shades of Grey, I came to a sobering realization: Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) could get away with murder. This dude basically exhibits straight-up stalker behavior, and yet the object of his affection, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, in a nuanced and impressive performance), not only doesn’t mind — she occasionally seems into it. And that’s before the BDSM even begins!

Of course, a lot of that is probably due to Grey’s stunning good looks, his immense wealth, his confident personality, his incredibly well-built torso, his eyes that are so deep in color that you could lose yourself in them for days…

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh right. Hit the jump to see 10 things that Christian Grey does in Fifty Shades of Grey that would be creepy if I did them. This is not an exhaustive list.
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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sequels Are Coming

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey soundss like a disaster in some respects, but it’s already looking like a success in a commercial sense. It’s already one of the fastest-selling R-rated advance tickets in history, and is on track to become one of the biggest Valentine’s Day openings in history. It’s even helped boost January movie ticket sales by 37% over last year.

And you know what that means: Sequels are coming. They’ll be based on the two other books from the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Just be glad we haven’t heard of plans to split the finale into two films. More on the Fifty Shades of Grey sequels after the jump.  Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey - Jamie Dornan

Any time a beloved book gets adapted for the screen, there’s bound to be some grumbling over the casting choices. Each of the millions of readers will have a slightly different look in mind, and there’s simply no way to satisfy all of them. And Fifty Shades of Grey may have had it even worse than most, because the character of Christian Grey is designed to be every fan’s ultimate sexual fantasy.

It wasn’t surprising, then, that not everyone loved the choice of Jamie Dornan. But the latest Fifty Shades of Grey trailer tries to make a case for him through the words of one supporting character: “You have to admit, he’s ridiculously hot.” And Dornan tries his best to live up to that promise. Watch the new Fifty Shades of Grey trailer after the jump.  Read More »

new Cymbeline trailer

Michael Almereyda is the latest to tweak William Shakespeare’s work to suit his purposes. Almereyda’s Cymbeline sees him teaming one more with Ethan Hawke, who starred in the director’s Hamlet in 2000. Cymbeline envisions the original text as “an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang set in a corruption-riddled America.” Ed Harris also stars, along with Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin. Check out the new Cymbeline trailer below, along with a new clip. Read More »

50 shades of grey trailer

It’s a big day for fans of the popular book 50 Shades of Grey. The trailer for the film, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is now online. Finally, fans can see the erotic romance in live action, starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. Check out the first 50 Shades of Grey trailer, along with some new stills, below. Read More »

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That’s a glimpse, above, at the first official look at Christian Grey in the film adaptation of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie is now under way with Sam Taylor-Johnson directing Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively. Film Music Reporter recently reported that Danny Elfman will do the score, which could add a tone of odd pleasure (ahem) to the picture.

See the full image below. It doesn’t really portend much on the sexual front, but there are some quotes for that angle, too. Read More »

Fifty Shades of Grey - Christian and Anastasia

Charlie Hunnam’s sudden departure from Fifty Shades of Grey sparked rumors that the erotic romance might not be able to make its planned summer 2014 release date. And now, it has indeed been pushed back to Valentine’s Day 2015 — but not, Universal insists, because of the casting change. Or not just because of it, anyway.

Fortunately for disappointed fans, Universal is taking advantage of that six-month delay to get the hype machine started nice and early. The first pics of stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in character have just hit the web. Read more about the delay and soak in the new images after the jump.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

Is it a surprise that Fifty Shades of Grey — the supermarket sex book in which a young woman is held in thrall to the sexual dominance of a very rich, very handsome man — is proving to be a tricky thing to adapt to film? Not just as far as writing the script, but when it comes to finding a cast that is willing to do the material, and which is comfortable with the various forms of fame that the roles will bring.

Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were cast in the past few weeks as the two leads, but Hunnam has already dropped out. The official reason was his packed TV schedule, but backstage talk has said that he wasn’t happy with the increased exposure (ahem) the film brings, and that his payday was quite low for the effort. He was only set to take home $125,000 for the role, according to THR. A lot of money to most of us, but a fairly small amount for an actor in a hit TV show and big summer movie property coming onto a very high-profile project.

Replacements have been suggested, and now there’s a new name in the rumor mix. Read More »

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