50 Years of SIFF: To Die For

To Die For

USA | 1995 | 106 min. | Gus Van Sant

Now Playing - May 3, 2024

50 Years of SIFF

A chilling tale of ambition gone awry, a small-town woman stops at nothing to achieve her dreams of fame, leading to deception, manipulation, and ultimately, deadly consequences. BETH BARRETT CHOICE.

Seattle International Film Festival 1995 Golden Space Needle Audience Award: Best Actress.


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Monday, April 29, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

"It was 1995, and I was a SIFF neophyte, having only gone to a couple of films in 1994. Having settled into my seat at the Egyptian, I realized that not only was I going to see the film, but Gus Van Sant and Nicole Kidman were there! It changed how I thought about 'going to the movies' and how different a SIFF film was."—Beth Barrett, SIFF Artistic Director

In this darkly comedic drama, directed by Gus Van Sant, audiences are drawn into the twisted world of Suzanne Stone, a small-town woman with big dreams of fame and fortune. Obsessed with becoming a television personality, Suzanne will stop at nothing to achieve her goals, even if it means manipulating those around her. Nicole Kidman in a career-defining performance, Suzanne seduces a group of impressionable teenagers, including the naive Jimmy, played by a young Joaquin Phoenix, into helping her eliminate any obstacles in her path. As her web of lies and deceit unravels, Suzanne's ruthless ambition leads to tragic consequences for those caught in her orbit. Set in the mundane suburban landscape, To Die For offers a chilling commentary on the allure of fame and the lengths individuals will go to achieve it. With its sharp wit, memorable performances, and biting satire, the film serves as a cautionary tale about the dark side of ambition and the destructive power of obsession.

  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Country: USA, United Kingdom, Canada
  • Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 106 min.
  • Producer: Laura Ziskin
  • Screenplay: Buck Henry
  • Cinematographers: Eric Alan Edwards
  • Editors: Curtiss Clayton
  • Production Designer: Danny Elfman
  • Music: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Illeana Douglas
  • Awards: My Own Private Idaho (1991), Good Will Hunting (1997), Milk (2008), Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
  • Filmography: Nicole Kidman delivers a diabolical deconstruction of the girl next door as a local TV weather reporter whose perfectly perky facade belies a murderous heart, as her ruthless pursuit of fame ensnares three disaffected teens in a sordid, tabloid-ready scandal.
  • Language: English