The Heidi Chronicles

It becomes difficult to reconcile this shy, likable woman with initial press portraits of Fleiss as a jaded, coke-sniffing Hollywood madam, smirking defiantly and flipping the bird at TV newsmen. You find yourself coming around to Broomfield's view of Heidi-as-fall-girl, an easy target in a high-stakes game of whore wars. Could this candid, toothsome sweetheart possibly be the wicked witch of Westwood who threatened to go public with her not-so-little black book, the prospect of which struck terror in the hearts of untold numbers of studio executives and movie stars? No way, you think. But then the interviewer digs one layer too deeply, and Fleiss's sunny mood abruptly clouds over. She curtly cuts off the interview. You start to wonder if she's been playing the filmmaker like a john, telling him what he wants to hear, selling a fantasy Heidi. And you remember Nagy warning Broomfield: "You believe her. You think she likes you. You think you're hot shit. You're a rube. She thinks you're a fucking idiot. You're not in the club."

You realize he's probably right. Broomfield isn't in the club. Neither are you. But that doesn't prevent Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam from offering a rare, fascinating peek at what goes on behind the clubhouse door.

Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam.
Directed by Nick Broomfield; with Heidi Fleiss, Ivan Nagy, Madam Alex, Daryl Gates, and Nick Broomfield.

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