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Audrey July 17, 2016 0 Comments

MELBOURNE girl Bella Heathcote’s father wanted a secure, comfortable life for his daughter.

A university degree. A back-up plan. Perhaps following his footsteps into a sensible career like law.

But here she is up to her neck in the meat market of beauty and celebrity that is Los Angeles, surrounded by lecherous men, bitchy girls, exploitative photographers, sex, drugs, lust, narcissism, ultraviolence, necrophilia … the kind of depravity a loving parent’s nightmares are made of.

“I think Dad probably thinks that of most of the films I do,” Heathcote laughs.

Ah, yes, did we mention Dad’s nightmare is taking place in a movie? Not just any movie, but the most controversial of 2016 thus far: The Neon Demon

From Danish provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn (best-known for putting Ryan Gosling in dreamlike yet brutal predicaments in Drive and Only God Forgives), The Neon Demon is the story of naive 16-year-old orphan Jesse (Elle Fanning, who was 16 during filming) rising quickly through the ranks of modelling in LA.

Her arrival is met with equal parts desire and resentment — or even outright malice —from rival models played by Heathcote and Mad Max: Fury Road’s. Abbey Lee.

The film premiered in competition at Cannes in May and its reception there — alternately booed and applauded — set the tone.

The Neon Demon is either loved or hated, has something to say or is completely vacuous, is feminist or faux, highbrow or camp, marvellously or terribly depraved.

“High fashion, low IQ” declared the headline on one US review.

The movie will have its Australian premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival this month.

Heathcote’s verdict? “It’s just a movie,” she says.

If you want to read the entire article, click here.

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