The trailer for the new Taylor Hackford movie begins with Helen Mirren's character throatily saying, "Selling love will make you rich. That's what my mother taught me. Just don't put your heart in it." It gets better:
Shirley MacLaine once said that the best parts for actresses are always hookers, victims and doormats. But Mirren plays a madam, and her character seems complex and nuanced. She and Joe Pesci are husband-and-wife brothel owners fighting for the legalization of prostitution. It's the late '70s, and Pesci's character decides to sponsor an Argentinian boxer. Sparks fly between Mirren and the pugilist. As Alyssa Rosenberg writes on her blog:
The contradictions Mirren has to embody are significant: she has to defend the dignity of women she is selling, and who regularly enable her husband to break his marriage vows. She has to start out questioning her desirability and experience a plausible sexual renewal.
This kind of juicy role — in which an older woman plays a businesswoman, a wife and an object of desire — could make for a really great performance. Makes sense, actually, when you remember that Mirren is real-life married to Hackford, the director. But if Helen Mirren, prostitution tales and a May-December romance don't pull you in, this should: Bai Ling plays a hooker.
Helen Mirren, Hookers, and Boxing [Alyssa Rosenberg]
Related: Rate-A-Trailer: Love Ranch [Flavorwire]
Helen Mirren And Joe Pesci Invite You Into Their Delightful Nevada Love Ranch [Guardian]