Puzzle of a Downfall Child

1970 Drama

The debut of writer and director Jerry Schatzberg, this cinema verite drama won accolades for the Golden Globe-nominated performance of lead actress Faye Dunaway. Dunaway stars as Lou Andreas Sand, a former fashion model who has retreated to her seaside cottage and is being interviewed by Aaron Reinhardt (Barry Primus), a photographer and filmmaker who helped make her famous and with whom she was once involved. Aaron wants to make a movie about Lou's rise from rags to riches but as Lou recalls it, her seemingly glamorous existence was anything but a Horatio Alger tale. In an addled fog, Lou struggles to recite a shocking litany of casual sex and rape, drug and alcohol abuse, and the anger of her lesbian mentor Paula Galba (Viveca Lindfors) when her romance with wealthy boyfriend Mark (Roy Scheider) nearly led to marriage. Her career deteriorating, Lou even attempted suicide. A former fashion photographer himself, Schatzberg was an apt choice for director of this melodramatic portrait of the industry's ugly underbelly.~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide