On a recent day off, we decided (against all sane advice) to watch the indie movie Savage Grace. It stars Julianne Moore as Barbara Baekeland, the wealthy wife of the Bakelite plastics heir and demented mother of Tony Baekeland (Eddie Redmayne), who later murdered her because she was constantly trying to turn him straight. Got all that? No, seriously, this movie is twisted (and also kind of long and boring, even though the acting was pretty good! Stephen Dillane: we love you!)
Anyway, among the most disturbing scenes in the movie (and there are a few!) is one where Ms. Baekleand and her son are both in bed with a man named Sam Green (played by Hugh Dancy), who has a reputation for romancing older ladies. It doesn’t get too graphic, but it’s clear what’s going on. And there’s a high ick factor, given the mother/son thing, even though everyone is very attractive and not related in real life.
But the person most grossed out by the scene is the real-life Sam Green, who is now 77. Mr. Green admits that he did have a brief affair with Ms. Baekeland, but never with her son. And The New York Post reports that the art dealer is now suing the film’s producers, Rainbow Media Holdings and IFC, saying that the film has exposed him “to disgrace, hatred, ridicule and contempt,” and “induced an evil opinion of him in the minds of right-thinking persons, and deprived him of friendly intercourse in society.” It’s also given him a rep as a money grubber, which has made it difficult for him to raise money for his charitable organization, Landmarks Foundation.
These kinds of lawsuits are usually a whole lot of nothing, but we do feel kind of sorry for Mr. Green. Not so much because they made him bisexual in the movie when he says he wasn’t, but because his name had to be dragged into the movie at all. He should find comfort in the fact that almost no one saw it.