Nocturnal Animals Meets Lost in Translation
The Black List Professional Evaluation #1
Era: Modern Locations: Palm Springs, Los Angeles Budget: Low Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Erotic Thriller
Logline: A wealthy woman, making money as a successful dominatrix, attempts to break onto the dating scene, only to be met by rejection when she shares the truth about her job with potential suitors, but when a charismatic and suave man becomes close to her and seems to not care at all about her work, there could be more than what meets the eye when it comes to his intentions.
Critique: This is a tragic and captivating story with a unique and well developed female lead. Lana is compelling from beginning to end, as we see her do her dominatrix work, but also try to date (failing at most of her encounters), and interacting with her friends and acquaintances along the way.
The friendship she has with Samatha is outstanding. We see just how happy Samatha is, despite not having the physical appearance that Lana is, and we watch Lana root her on throughout the entire story.
The parallel of Samatha's relationship that turns into a happy marriage is tracked very effectively.
The twist regarding Daniel/Ian is completely unexpected but foreshadowed perfectly. It's a masterful part of the plot, and the sense of doom that comes in when the audience (and Lana) first sees the burns on Ian is very impactful.
The action writing, throughout the script, is crisp and efficient, but the world is continually vivid (whether it's the car, or the hotel, for example).
That flashback we get to Max and the whole way that Lana started into this dominatrix line of work is an example just how organic and original her storyline is.
Prospects: The final moments of this script are climactic, tragic, and beautifully written. The project is fast in pace, from beginning to end. It could be made on a fairly low budget, all things considered. Production-wise, and tonally, BECAUSE I WANT TO could loosely be related to SPREAD meets UNFAITHFUL.
The Black List Professional Evaluation #2
Era: Modern Locations: Palm Springs, CA Budget: Low Genre: Drama
Logline: A Palm Springs dominatrix searching to fill the void in her life tries out dating, only to become interested in a man who was once her client.
Critique: The premise is original, imaginative and could be a strong draw in the indie space. The Palm Springs setting is richly rendered, fits the premise like a glove, and feels like its own swanky character in the film. Lana's character is deftly drawn, with depth, complexity, nuance, and a gripping internal life.
There are some moments that are cinematically sublime in exploring her experience, such as when she pulls over in the desert to let off a few rounds from her pistol. Lana's role is a very exciting casting opportunity. The script is naturalistically structured and has a crisp pacing that never lags.
The dominatrix scenes are thrilling.
The dialogue is tight and expressive, also delivering needed humor with crisp timing.
Prospects: BECAUSE I WANT TO is a skillfully written indie drama that could have genuine prospects if the right star can become attached to Lana's fascinating role. Addressing the aforementioned issues ought to help take an already strong script to the next level and further boost its prospects.