Owen Gleiberman
June 03, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Downloading Nancy

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
102 minutes
performer
Maria Bello, Jason Patric, Amy Brenneman, Rufus Sewell
director
Johan Renck
distributor
Strand Releasing
author
Pamela Cuming, Lee Ross
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a C-

An incest survivor (Maria Bello) acts out her damage by hooking up, via the Internet, with a man she asks to hurt her…and worse. Jason Patric plays the creep in question, and Rufus Sewell is cast against type as her boring, clueless husband. Shot in a chilly, desaturated palette, Downloading Nancy declares, in every frame, that we’re in a world without love, faith, joy, or connection. There are brutal scenes with razor blades and other impromptu devices of erotic torment, but what makes the movie a trial to sit through isn’t just the heroine’s pain-freak tastes. It’s that a kinkfest with this blah an emotional spectrum is selling its own chic form of puritanism — sex with all the life force repressed. C?

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