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Charlize Theron in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"

by Tim Brayton

As part of our celebration of the career of Charlize Theron, I'm revisiting the performance of hers that first made me clearly aware that here was a woman whose career would be worth keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, it's a crap film, one of the worst she's ever been in: I speak of the 2001 Woody Allen project The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a sluggish, mirthless throwback to the screwball comedies of old that is, by some reports, Allen's own least favorite of his career. I can't quite bring myself to agree with that assessment, but it's certainly right down there near the bottom.

In fact, Theron's performance as bored, spoiled rich society woman Laura Kensington is easily the best thing about the film, if not indeed the only good thing about it, period. I'm very happy to report that her work holds up, even without the sense of newness.

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