Naked in Nevada
Tobias Datum’s awardwinning, and sometimes distracting, cinematography is the major distinguishing element of writer/producer/director Natalia Leite’s feature debut Bare, which offers a tepid trek through familiar indie material.
Dianna Agron stars as Sarah, who is resigned to a dead-end future and constantly in a state of emotional malaise.
Into her life, promptly, strolls Pepper (Paz de la Huerta), a sultry free spirit who represents – at least at first – the sort of adventurous lifestyle Sarah secretly craves. She also sucks her thumb when she sleeps, one of many obvious symbolic touches that Leite sprinkles, almost on cue, throughout the proceedings.
Sarah starts hanging around and dancing at the local strip joint where Pepper sort of works. Initially seduced by the money and attention, she is then seduced by Pepper herself – in a surreal, drugfueled sex scene that represents Bare at its most self-consciously arty.
De la Huerta (no stranger to shedding her clothes onscreen) and Agron are certainly easy on the eyes, if that’s what you’re looking for, but Bare brings to mind a more serious-minded attempt at Showgirls (1995). After their one-night tryst, Sarah’s certainly a more confident stripper – which may not be the intent Leite was aiming for. The other characters, including Sarah’s mother (Mary Price Moore) and boyfriend (Chris Zylka) are so one-note and stereotypical it’s a wonder she didn’t leave home long ago. !