Frankie and Alice (R)

Drama 102 April 4, 2014
By Sherilyn Connelly
Geoffrey Sax's Frankie & Alice comes with some warning signs: the words "based on true events," for starters, along with three credits for "original story" and five for the screenplay. (It took eight people to tell a true story?) Then there's the fact that this film has been sitting on the shelf since 2010. Fortunately, Frankie & Alice is by no means the train wreck any of that would suggest, especially for a film starring Halle Berry as a stripper suffering from multiple personalities.

Frankie (Berry) puts herself under the care of a psychotherapist played by Stellan Skarsgard in his lovable eccentric mode, making the picture feel like all the more like an unintentional, nudity-free companion piece to Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac. (Speaking of such things, the Frankie character being a stripper may be factually accurate, but it doesn't really figure into the movie's themes, and it's easy to suspect it was a happy conjunction of historical fidelity with prurient interests.) Frankie & Alice is lurid -- again, she's a stripper -- and occasionally silly in the way that so many multiple-personality stories wind up being. It never quite shakes the feeling of being Berry's self-conscious return to respectability after a decade of Catwomen and X-Men. Still, it's occasionally imaginative, and, most importantly, never boring.
Geoffrey Sax Stellan Skarsgård, Halle Berry, Matt Frewer, Chandra Wilson, Phylicia Rashad, Melanie Papalia, James Kirk, Emily Tennant, Brian Markinson, Kira Clavell Cheryl Edwards Code Black Entertainment

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