After two decades of the Linda Lovelace story bouncing around Hollywood, many false starts, and a bitter spilt from Matthew Wilder, the director of that other Lovelace biopic Inferno, the new Lovelace finally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January. The debut was just in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic porn movie, Deep Throat, which made Lovelace famous and gave America its first porn star. It’s especially exciting for me to see this movie making headlines since my memoir, The Pornographer's Daughter, chronicles my father’s involvement and subsequent indictment by the federal government for his role in distributing Deep Throat in the 70s. Those who produced and acted in Deep Throat were colorful characters brought to life in the movie by an amazing and noteworthy cast that includes Amanda Siegfried playing Lovelace, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria and Peter Saarsgard as Lovelace’s abusive husband Chuck Traynor. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but since it was just picked up by The Weinstein Company it will be released in theaters nationwide this fall. I might be the first in line.
Whether you’ve followed the career and life of Linda Lovelace or not, the story is compelling and Amanda Siegfried’s performance in the starring role might just win her an Oscar nod. Lovelace launched her career in the porn business, and then later become one of the foremost anti-porn advocates. For me, this is the most intriguing characteristic of who Linda Lovelace was, and I’m most curious to see how this aspect of her life is portrayed in the movie. There’s a consensus in the reviews that, while mostly positive in particular noting Siegfried’s performance, the film has glossed over the underlying parts of Lovelace’s personality and life that drove her to accept the porn star role, and then later regret and fight against it.
The absence of these details, I suspect, will leave viewers with more questions than answers about the real Linda Lovelace, and will foster accusations toward filmmakers that their portrayal of Lovelace is inaccurate. Despite the omissions, the depiction of her abusive relationship with Chuck Traynor is definitely a centerpiece of the movie and a very important part of Lovelace’s life. By all accounts, Lovelace was a victim of domestic violence. Delving into the reasons as to why she loved Chuck Traynor and why he had so much control over her life will prove to be a riveting part of the film. I don’t think any movie or book will adequately address her vexing transformation from porn star to anti-porn crusader, or the role she played as the victim and first amendment advocate. Sadly, any speculation about this will be left up to editorial license since Lovelace was tragically killed in a car accident in 2002.
All in all, I am so glad this film was made to capture this moment in pop culture history, one that will highlight the life of a woman who played an important role in the conversation about women’s rights. Those involved in making Deep Throat a success, like my family, were just ordinary people trying to make a living. I’m curious to know if you’re interested in seeing the film. Let me know what you think and I’ll keep you posted on the whereabouts of Lovelace.