"Lovelace": Untangling the Origins of "Deep Throat"

Lovelace These are the known knowns: The 1972 porn movie Deep Throat, starring a woman named Linda Lovelace, was a huge hit. Everything else has been hotly debated, and after starting off with a comparatively idealized look at how Linda (Amanda Seyfried) became one of the first porn stars, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's time-shifting biopic Lovelace loops back around to portray Linda's much-contested version of the events: that her violently abusive husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) forced her at gunpoint into porn, and Chuck's jealousy of her subsequent fame only made things worse. Using a night with Hugh Hefner (James Franco) as the fulcrum, Linda tells her side of the story while taking a polygraph test requested by her publisher. Shot on 16mm film for period-appropriate graininess, Lovelace is less about porn and more about how, not so long ago, the notion of domestic abuse as a bad thing was so foreign that the burden of proof was entirely on the wife — seriously, Lovelace had to take a polygraph, in real life — but also to prove that she didn't deserve whatever might have happened; her own mother (Sharon Stone) suggests as much when Linda pleads for help. Whichever version of events is the factual truth, Lovelace errs firmly on the side of the abused.

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