Frankie and Alice
Halle Berry, in her best and most shattering performance since her Oscar-winning Monster’s Ball, snagged a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for this fact-based tale of Frankie Murdoch, a 1970s black stripper with a body all her own but a head occupied by at least two other personalities. One, Genius, is a scared child who still tries to look out for Frankie on her erotically charged forays into the Los Angeles club scene. The other, Alice, is a white racist who looks down on Frankie. When a series of blackouts gets Frankie labeled “crazy as a shithouse rat,” Dr. Oz (Stellan Skarsgård) uses hypnotism to help Frankie make peace with her dissociative identity disorder, but it’s a tough road. It’s tougher for British director Geoffrey Sax, since he is working from a script with its own identity crisis, given the nine writers needed to concoct it. It helps that Skarsgård and Phylicia Rashad, as Frankie’s mother, offer stalwart support. But this movie, with its flashbacks to past sins and traumas, rests squarely on Berry, a mesmerizer who makes every moment count.