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Review: Asia Argento's Unexpectedly Affecting 'Misunderstood' Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg

This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. There’s something irresistibly hip about Asia Argento, even as a concept. The sultry, pouty daughter of trash-horror maestro Dario Argento, her public image as a wild child jack-of-all-trades-as-long-as-they’re-kinda-glamorous (actress, singer, model, director) does make her something of a poster girl for tough, troubled, attitude-y cool (just check out her Cannes red carpet pic or her Twitter account for that matter). But after her first two forays into directing, “Scarlet Diva” (in which she also starred as a self-destructive starlet) and child abuse chronicle “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things,” she has shifted gears in several ways with her third: she makes a brief, Hitchcock-level cameo, but doesn’t star, and most welcome, she moves from straight-up miserablism to a beguiling cockeyed whimsy. However, “Misunderstood” ("Incompresa"), which played in the Un Certain Regard sidebar in...

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