Kristen Stewart Shines in Rose Glass’ “Love Lies Bleeding”

Rose Glass, known for her debut horror film “Saint Maud,” delivers a distinctly American tale of violence and obsession in her latest work, **Love Lies Bleeding**. Premiering at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, this gritty noir romance stars Kristen Stewart as the lonely gym manager Lou and Katy O’Brian as the aspiring bodybuilder Jackie.
 Plot Overview
Set in the 1980s in a desolate New Mexico town, the film follows Lou’s mundane existence until Jackie arrives, igniting a passionate romance between the two women. Lou, trapped in a colorless life, finds newfound excitement in Jackie’s pursuit of bodybuilding glory. However, their love story takes a dark turn when they become entangled in Lou Sr.’s criminal activities, leading to a thrilling and blood-soaked journey of sex, blackmail, and murder.
 Visuals and Atmosphere
Glass captures the essence of the 1980s with its neon-drenched aesthetic and surreal touches. The film exudes excess and hedonism, juxtaposed with the dinginess of small-town life. Surreal elements infuse the narrative, giving it a fantastical quality, while the body horror of Jackie’s transformation adds a visceral layer to the story.
 Performances
 Kristen Stewart as Lou
Stewart delivers a powerhouse performance as Lou, portraying her with depth and vulnerability. Lou’s transformation from a solitary figure to a woman consumed by passion is captivating to watch, and Stewart’s portrayal anchors the film’s emotional core.
 Katy O’Brian as Jackie
O’Brian shines as Jackie, embodying her character’s determination and ferocity. Jackie’s pursuit of her dreams, whether in bodybuilding or love, is portrayed with single-minded intensity, making her a compelling counterpart to Lou.
 Themes and Execution
“Love Lies Bleeding” explores themes of love, obsession, and self-destruction against the backdrop of a noir-infused narrative. Glass navigates the film’s twists and turns with skill, blending elements of romance, crime, and fantasy into a cohesive and exhilarating story.
 Conclusion
With its blend of romance, violence, and surrealism, **Love Lies Bleeding** is a thrilling and disorienting ride. Stewart and O’Brian deliver standout performances, anchoring the film’s emotional weight amidst its blood-soaked chaos. While the narrative may veer into unexpected territory, Glass maintains a sense of excitement and intrigue throughout.

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