“There’s one tolerable moment during the last third of Alex Ross Perry‘s Her Smell. I’m reluctant to use the term ‘third act’ as the film has no story, much less anything resembling story tension, although there are five chapters or sections, each announced by snippets of 1.37:1 footage.
“The moment I’m speaking of shows a sober Becky (Elisabeth Moss) sitting down at the piano and gently singing Bryan Adam‘s ‘Heaven’ to her toddler daughter. Hollywood Elsewhere is very grateful to Perry for at least offering this small slice of comfort pie. Peons like myself (i.e., viewers who are unable to enjoy a film teeming with jabbering, wall-to-wall, motor-mouthed anxiety) need this kind of thing from time to time.
“85% to 90% of Her Smell is about enduring Becky’s brash, needling, abrasive behavior toward her bandmates (Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin), a trio of up-and-coming Seattle chick musicians (Cara Delevigne, Dylan Gelula, Ashley Benson), her ex-husband (dull-as-dishwater Dan Stevens), the record-label owner (Eric Stoltz, 56 during filming and eyeballing the big six-oh) and some kind of manager-agent character (Virginia Madsen), born 20 days before Stoltz).
“They all regard Becky with the same expression, a channelling of ‘oh, God…she’s gone over the edge…what can be done?’ and so on.
“To sum up, Her Smell is Perry punishment. An indulgent, highly undisciplined, 135-minute exercise in flamboyant behavior-acting for Moss. I will never, ever see it again.” — from my N.Y. Film Festival review, posted on 9.17.18.