Body of Evidence

Friday, March 10 - Saturday, March 11, 2023

35mm print!

“You may find this hard to believe, but the star of Body of Evidence, an actress named Madonna, actually reveals a lot of flesh in this courtroom drama. The exhibitionism, let me hasten to add, is entirely in the service of her character, Rebecca Carlson, a sexpot dominatrix who is accused of murdering her lover, an older man with a weak heart and a big fortune, by exciting him to death. The district attorney (Joe Mantegna) is intent on proving that Rebecca’s body is a lethal weapon. Her defense attorney (Willem Dafoe), though a married man, believes in trying out the weapon himself. Discovering the kink in his own lustful heart, the lawyer and his client indulge in some sweaty S&M game-playing themselves: she pours hot wax on his tied-up body; they make love atop broken glass on the hood of a car parked in the courthouse garage; later, she brings out the handcuffs …

Is Rebecca a murderous material girl, or just a lusty gal with a misunderstood lifestyle? That’s the question that supplies the suspense in Uli Edel’s slick thriller, in which Witness for the Prosecution cohabits with The Story of O and “Basic Instinct…. As written by Brad Mirman, Madonna’s role is so tailor-made for her that one might suspect she is reading outtakes from her best seller, Sex (there’s lots of talk about liking to be “in control”). Made up in ’30s ice-goddess fashion, she’s still more an icon than an actress, but there’s no denying the avidly smutty frisson she brings to the sex scenes. It’s Dafoe’s quiet conviction, however, that keeps the drama rooted in something resembling reality: he makes a theoretical role intriguingly human. Anne Archer also appears, not as a noble wife this time, but as the dead man’s secretary, who seems a little too eager to pin the blame on Rebecca.” – David Ansen, Newsweek

  • Running Time 99 minutes
  • Director Uli Edel

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.