MOVIES

The NC-17 Rated Box Office Flop That Almost Ruined Chloe Sevigny’s Career Career

What, exactly, is so controversial about “The Brown Bunny” after all? The trippy, strange movie focuses on Vincent Gallo’s character, motorcycle racer Bud Clay, as he reminisces about his former lover Daisy (Chloë Sevigny). As he travels to see her parents and to her old house, he envisions Daisy, at which point Sevigny appears onscreen and performs several sex acts, including fellatio; concerns largely arose due to the fact that many critics and moviegoers wondered if Sevigny, who performs the act herself, was coerced by Gallo in any way. Years later, Sevigny told Playboy she was proud of the film, but that she didn’t think she wanted to participate in many more explicit sex scenes.

To say critics initially disliked “The Brown Bunny,” sex scene aside, is an understatement; Roger Ebert famously wrote a scathing passage about it, in fact. “In May of 2003 I walked out of the press screening of Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny” at the Cannes Film Festival and was asked by a camera crew what I thought of the film,” he recalled in 2004. “I said I thought it was the worst film in the history of the festival. That was hyperbole — I hadn’t seen every film in the history of the festival — but I was still vibrating from one of the most disastrous screenings I had ever attended.” Ebert does admit in this piece, though, that after Gallo made some edits, he changed his mind about the divisive film.

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