Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Year Released: 2015
College student/hardware store employee Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) meets super-wealthy Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) - whose job duties are unclear (besides fly around various places) but his sexual preferences are more than apparent - and they start a "contractual master-slave relationship." Pitifully shallow in nearly every regard (particularly the human dimension), Taylor-Johnson (a fine artist by trade), working from the abhorrently written novel by E.L. James (which I actually read) focuses on the surface-level aspects to this - the movie's look, the chemistry between Johnson and Dornan (which is palpable) - which makes sense since there's nothing else to it: Grey is a wealthy cretin equipped with hackneyed Freudian hang-ups and insecurities and Steele is an empty-headed Pure Girl who meets her Bad Man (she's like a figure out of a Lana Del Rey song except Lana is not trying to be serious). The BDSM elements are the sole reason for its existence and popularity (think of it as a Harlequin novel set in this century), but the few scenes between Jamie Bell and Charlotte Gainsbourg in the considerably more unnerving Nymphomaniac: Vol. II pack more raw power than this could dream of possessing.