Sham Fatale

Body of Evidence offers a peculiar variation on a very old sexual formula

When she bonds, spiritually and physically, with nude lesbians, gay men, and liberated heteros, as in Sex and her documentary Truth or Dare, she always seems more like a tourist than an artist. Every provocative thing she does has huge, blatant quote marks around it, which automatically defuses her "message" and makes her palatable to the mass market. (Body of Evidence was originally rated NC-17 but was trimmed to an R for financial reasons, without a single peep of protest from the Great Blond Upholder of Artistic Integrity.)

To go out on a limb here, I think what Body of Evidence needed, besides a good script, was real, honest-to-goodness fucking, or at least a fictionalized version of it so spontaneous and uncomfortable that it blurred the line between mainstream entertainment and pornography. Such a leap would have made the movie not just pruriently interesting, but socially valuable, and if anybody has the clout to do something like that A to challenge long-held ideas of mainstream entertainment, and bring down the sham MPAA ratings system in the process A it's Madonna. But clearly, she's not really about sexual freedom or artistic risk, but hype and money; a movie like the one I've described might have derailed her carefully controlled career.

At last, the woman is truly naked A exposed as an utter hypocrite. For all her pontification about sexual freedom, Madonna is an overhyped, glamorized little tease. And so is this Body of Evidence.

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