Joe Pesci as Helen Mirren's cheating husband Discuss this article
You can’t blame Helen Mirren for wanting to broaden her character horizons; after messed-up detective Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series and her regal detachment as Elizabeth II in The Queen, it’s natural to want to play big emoters like Leo Tolstoy’s wife, Sofya, in The Last Station, and her role here as the queen bee of disreputable women.
Loosely based on the story of Nevada’s infamous Mustang Ranch and its owners, Joe Conforte and Sally Burgess Conforte, Love Ranch has big chewy roles to go around. Grace (Mirren) possesses a heart that she’s kept under control until her cheating husband Charlie (Pesci) buys the contract of Brazilian boxer Armando Bruza (Peris-Mencheta). Armando wears down her defences, and things start to heat up. Mirren conveys Grace’s thawing heart, but when she’s called upon to be brassy and vulgar, it’s never quite believable.
The movie never quite settles on whether it’s a raucous good time or a ripped-from-the-headlines drama about a lurid love triangle. It’s not helped by Mark Jacobson’s script, which lurches from incident to incident. We love Mirren, and for a while it’s fun to watch her slumming, but that pleasure is fleeting.By Hank Sartin
Time Out Dubai,