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Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Reviewed on 2011 March 20

Bloated, glittery, and silly Seventies flick about an edgy photographer that sees murders through the eyes of a killer.

Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is a photographer of “beautiful people”, taking controversial snapshots of models and making people on both sides of the camera famous. Her stable favorites are Michele and Lulu (real-life model Lisa Taylor and Darlanne Fluegel), who Laura snaps in weird photos that are a hybrid of Robert Longo’s stuff and some of those obnoxious Diesel ads. Laura and her posse are famous for being famous even before MTV, but she can’t relax and enjoy it: people are being murdered, in ways reminiscent of her photos no less, and what makes it more horrible is that Laura sees the things a bit before or as they happen. Worse, investigator John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) thinks she may be responsible. Laura hangs out with some freaky people though. We can’t rule out her her entertainingly bitchy personal assistant Donald Phelps (Rene Auberjonois), her rough gopher and driver with a past Tommy (Brad Dourif), or even her slimy ex-husband, Michael (Raul Julia).

Underneath the ’70s glitz and faux faahhhhhhbulousness, it’s really kind of an old-fashioned whodunit. Was it one of those three men, or did one of the second-tier models get jealous and lose it? It was cool watching Brad Dourif play a more rough-edged guy than he usually portrays. I admit I had a WTF BBQ moment as things wound down but it redeemed itself. What it lacks in being a great movie, it makes up for in nostalgia. It was fun to watch something from an era where the men had fussier hair than the women, and some of the clothes were fabulous — I loved the double slit skirt and boots Dunaway sported for the first shoot. The photo shoots are hilarious, and all that was missing were the afterparties with people rolling like boll weevils in mountains of coke.

Two chocolate morsels.


morsel morsel

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