Lizzie Borden’s Act

Chloe Sevigny & Kristen Stewart Commit Murder

BY: Claire Connors

On August 4th, almost exactly 126 years ago, Andrew Borden and his wife Abby were found whacked to death by… well, you know the nursery rhyme. The crime was so brutal, so horrifying, that it was truly almost impossible for the patriarchal society to believe that a woman may have committed it. Despite the evidence against her, Lizzie, presumed innocent, was ultimately acquitted, but that didn’t stop the rumors and urban legend to continue for years after her trial.

Whomever was guilty of the crime, the story has remained an intriguing subject for writers, playwrights, librettists, and filmmakers to explore…and explore they have, with numerous novels, operas, ballets, and films produced about the murders.

The newest film to examine the subject is Lizzie, produced by and starring Chloe Sevigny (Kids) as Lizzie Borden. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, shocking audiences with its overtly sexual, bloodthirsty depiction of the crimes.

In this version, Lizzie is the lonely, frustrated daughter of Borden, a cruel rapist (Jamey Sheridan) unhappily married to Lizzie’s horrid stepmother, Abby (Fiona Shaw). His chosen victim is the family’s Irish maid, Bridget, played with quiet resignation by Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga). But Mr. Borden isn’t Bridget’s only admirer. Lizzie is also attracted to her and they are quietly carrying on an affair until the thought of her lecherous father touching her lover is too much for Lizzie to bear. Now where did Daddy leave the axe he used to behead Lizzie’s pet pigeons?

Lizzie opens on September 14th.