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6.5
/10
226 Ratings

Her Smell

Directed by Alex Ross Perry
United States, 2018
Drama, Music

Synopsis

Becky Something, a maniacally destructive punk rock star who pushes her relationships with bandmates, family and followers to the limit as she wages a years long war against sobriety while attempting to re-engage the creativity that had once led her band to massive crossover success.

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Her Smell Directed by Alex Ross Perry
Becky wins her battle with herself, but when it was over I felt bruised and tired, as if she’d been pummeling me, too. Like Roberto Durán fighting Sugar Ray Leonard, she had me holding up my hands and muttering, “No Moss.”
August 06, 2019
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The narrative dexterity elevates the impact of Her Smell even further. Working once again with longtime cinematographer Sean Price Williams, Perry transitions from the drugged out lunacy of its first parts into a quiet Bergman-style chamber piece.
April 24, 2019
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His latest, Her Smell, seems to culminate Perry’s ambitions in terms of drama, character portraiture, and style. In my estimation, it’s one of his best films, and his most elastic and accomplished work as a director.
April 22, 2019
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What are people saying?

  • Steve Pulaski's rating of the film Her Smell

    Elisabeth Moss may indeed be the most unsung, underappreciated actress working today. In conjunction, Alex Ross Perry might be the most overlooked director. Together, they make "Her Smell," a pungent picture that brings you face-to-face with the mental breakdown of an egomaniacal degenerate. A long-in-the-tooth first act squashes some of the power of the second, but its aesthetics and performances help even it out.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Her Smell

    Alex Ross Perry's most technically accomplished and alienating film to date. Elizabeth Moss plays such an ego monster, I felt a palpable sense of relief whenever she wasn't onscreen—which, along with the burbling noise soundtrack, effectively puts you in the headspace of the other characters in the film. "Her Smell" also serves as a bittersweet homage to the last time guitar-based music had an impact on the culture.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Her Smell

    Sound design really makes you feel like you are in the bowels of something (hell, prob), which must be what being underground venues is like. Then silence, and the potential for reflection, brings forward a nightmare of its own. Seems like Perry's most commanding creation yet - I could of taken another half an hour for that ending to really land. Loved the invocation of haunted-witch energy.

  • Jorge Mourinha's rating of the film Her Smell

    She’s lost control: a mental meltdown as seen from the inside in real time, shamanically inhabited by a career best Moss and shot with virtuoso energy. A car crash you don’t want to look away from.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Her Smell

    Why would anybody want to watch such self-destruction? You could apply that question to the audience, not just the characters, and the answer is Moss. She's frighteningly effective at seeming like a genuine waste case, not just an actress playing one. Perry doesn't have Cassavettes' skill at mining insight into people—this never opens the context like A Women Under the Influence. But the formal (sonic) arc is strong.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film Her Smell

    During the first half of the film, Becky Something is in full destruction mode: the mix of confusion, anger and alienation reminded me of Gena Rowlands in "A Woman Under the Influence". Then comes redemption and a completely new side to the character, not less devastating than the one we already knew. Elisabeth Moss is astonishing as ever, and Agyness Deyn was a wonderful surprise. Rock on, Alex Ross Perry!

  • Loz Loory's rating of the film Her Smell

    Essentially unwatchable. Moss plays a one-note narcissistic, egomaniacal, grandiose rock star. She's turned up to 11 all the time, so we never have any reason to care about her. The plotting is so slow that the audience has far too long to get very tired of being in her entourage.

  • Sean Patrick Stevens's rating of the film Her Smell

    Moss made me think of Courtney Love at times here. However, the performance is a great one (the best of the year perhaps) because it is it's own beast-scary, pathetic, at times annoying even but most of all, human even when the film goes on too long towards the end.

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