Bound (1996)

Directed by Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski

Corky, a tough female ex-convict working on an apartment renovation in a Chicago building, meets a couple living next door, Caesar, a paranoid mobster, and Violet, his seductive girlfriend, who is immediately attracted to her.

It's actually kinda hilarious to go back and read contemporary reviews that praise the artistic 'rehabilitation' of Gina Gershon after the perceived disaster of Showgirls (1995), as well as those who are surprised (and perhaps even perplexed) at a depth of the lesbian relationship...


Because we are familiar with the conventions of film noir, we cannot help but suspect Violet throughout. That she never double-crosses Corky is less a disappointment or failure to realize the character’s potential than a romantic jolt. This is where Bound becomes more than just a thriller, or a film that would exploit its lesbian characters; rather, it’s a sordid and violent love story. […] Under the wrong circumstances or in another filmmaker’s hands, a film that employs passionate lesbian love and noir dialogue might have been corny and cheap. But with Bound, the Wachowskis use a gamut of filmic references and resources to tell a kind of cute, certainly romantic love story through graphic and violent neo-noir conventions. […] Today, the Wachowskis are known for delivering visual spectacles, but they often forget to build an adequate emotional foundation into their stories. Revisiting Bound, one cannot help but yearn for the Wachowskis to return to smaller-scale filmmaking, which applies pure cinema to limited locations and characters

Brian Eggert (Deep Focus Review)


Straight male directors and screenwriters sometimes have this thing about lesbians. Take Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas, for example. They are obsessed. [This film] could have been similarly absurd. […]
Instead, Bound is a fascinating hybrid - Playboy Channel thriller meets feminist lesbian love story. Without pandering, it attempts to get just about everybody off.

Barry Walters (SFGATE, 1996)