“Fascinating and emotionally invloving,” says Slamdance of BEAUTIFUL in their coverage report.
The screenplay, written by Michael Dunn, is an original story that was expanded from a short screenplay that made the top 25 short screenplays at the previous year’s festival.
Slamdance’s synopsis: “A story that deals with body image and a desire to change it like in many ways the Cinderella or Pygmalion story. Movies and other media that deal with ideas like this include The Shape of Things, Nip/Tuck, any movie about someone considering a transgender operation (like Second Serve), and Stuck on You, among many others. But perhaps the films that this screenplay has something closer in common with include The Unknown (1927), Twin Falls Idaho and Crash (1996).
The inclusion of David Cronenberg’s Crash is no surprise to screenwriter Michael Dunn. His work has often been compared to Cronenberg’s (and the other David—Lynch). Michael points out with pride that he tackled the subject of body integrity identity disorder a full five years before Cronenberg released the short film, “The Nest.”
In the analysis, Slamdance calls BEAUTIFUL “A highly original and unusual screenplay, to say the least. It won’t be for everyone, but it is extremely well written. The characters are vibrant and involving. One becomes emotionally involved in their unusual dilemmas of wanting to have limbs removed. The author has found a way to make them real and accessible to others.
The story moves at a good pace and actually becomes a page turner. There are some nice twists. It’s a strong screenplay that works well on its own terms. It’s an unusual, independent-minded film that is its own thing.”
In the screnplay, identical twins Stéphane and Rémy Janssen believe one of them was supposed to have been absorbed in utero. With the help of a underground surgeon, they attempt to do what nature didn’t. BEAUTIFUL is a story of loneliness and perversion, that explores the obsession with the physical while lifting away the flesh to understand what’s underneath.
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