Savage Grace

Savage Grace Information

Savage Grace is a 2007 film directed by Tom Kalin and written by Howard A. Rodman, based on the book Savage Grace by Natalie Robins and Steven M.L. Aronson. The story is based on the dysfunctional, allegedly incestuous relationship between heiress and socialite Barbara Daly Baekeland and her son, Antony. The film stars Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne, Elena Anaya and Hugh Dancy.

It was an official selection at the 2007 London Film Festival, the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.


The film is based on the true story of Barbara Daly Baekeland (Moore), her husband Brooks Baekeland (Dillane), heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune, and their only child Antony (Redmayne), who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The story begins with Antony's birth and follows the family to the time of his arrest for the murder of his mother.

Critical reception

Critics gave the film mixed reviews. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 38 percent of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 89 reviews — with the consensus that "though visually compelling, the lamentable characters in Savage Grace make for difficult viewing." Metacritic, another review aggregator, reported the film had an average score of 51 out of 100, based on 28 reviews.

Peter Bradshaw writing in The Guardian gave the film four out of five stars, describing it as "a gripping, coldly brilliant and tremendously acted movie."


It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay in 2008.

Sam Green

After the film opened, Baekeland's former lover, Samuel Adams Green (played by Dancy in the film), wrote an article pointing out elements in the film possibly misleading for those trying to reach back to the reality inspiring it. Referring to the ménage à trois scene of Barbara, Antony, and Sam having sex, he wrote: </ref>}} Green then took legal action against the film makers, which was still unresolved at the time of his death.

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