Maria Bello

About forty minutes into the picture, my wife whispered, “I think I’m leaving.”“You are?” I asked with envy or admiration.“It’s ridiculous and revolting,” she said.“That’s being gentle,” I said.She reminded me that she is gentle and asked if I was coming too.“I can’t,” I hissed. “I’ve got to write about it.”“If only they knew, you’d be so much kinder if you didn’t have to see it.”

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Violence is scary. Violence is sexy. Violence is wrong. Violence is righteous. Violence is a problem. Violence is the solution. Befitting its title, David Cronenberg's film A History of Violence comprises all these definitions and more. Just released on video, the film opens with a pulpy paean to small-town murderousness, as two drifters check out of a dusty, rural motel. The air of lazy depravity is palpable; bad acts are hinted at--"I had a little trouble with the maid," one man tells the other--before they are revealed.

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