Should certain actresses refrain from movie nudity? Christina Ricci stars in horror thriller After.Life, which opens today in select theaters nationwide, and one reviewer claims that Ricci is 'gratuitously exploited' in the movie. She "looks smashing wearing a slinky red slip or, more often than not, nothing at all," writes Frank Scheck in The Hollywood Reporter. "One hates to say it, but after this and 'Black Snake Moan,' it might be time for the talented actress to keep her clothes on."
Unfortunately, I missed the advance screening in my area, so I can't provide a firsthand account on Ricci's nudity and whether it undermines the "seriousness of purpose" of her latest flick, but I did see Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan, and am happy to report that she indeed looks smashing when naked. More seriously, though, her nudity in Moan was absolutely essential to her character, a woman who was sexually abused as a child and seeks release through sexual activity as an adult. She's in pain, and whether she's dressed or not is of little consequence to her, though it has a big effect on those around her.
Maybe After.Life exploits her and maybe it doesn't -- the image above is from a gallery at Horror Squad -- but is that really the deciding factor in whether the film is effective? Is movie nudity so distracting that a movie's "seriousness of purpose" can be destroyed? Are there movies that have been weakened or hurt in some way because of nudity? The official site lists theaters in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas. If you see the movie this weekend, let us know: should Christina Ricci keep her clothes on in the future?