Black Snake Moan

Inherently weird, unclassifiable movie, set in rural Tennessee, about a former blues musician (Samuel Jackson) who takes a bloody, beaten white girl (Christina Ricci) under his wing, only to find out that she suffers from some sort of nymphomania. So he chains her to his radiator in order to "cure" her. What follows is a unique if awkward blend of religion, music, sex, alcohol, and soul-healing.

I suppose Black Snake Moan is trying to suggest something about the redemptive power of the blues, but I think writer/director Brewer (who won accolades for his second feature Hustle & Flow) is biting off more than he can chew. I didn't dislike Black Snake Moan; it drips with Southern atmosphere, has a nicely untidy ending, and Brewer does develop some offbeat characters. And the whole thing is so intrinsically nutty that it's sure to find its fans – especially amongst those who are into Ricci – as well as its detractors. But despite all the wackiness it has to offer, I just felt indifferent about it. The acting is good but not good enough, the story is good but not good enough, and it's like the film wants to be crazy, but it just can't get there.