A pitch-perfect dark comedy. Nicole Kidman is phenomenal, in fact, everyone is fantastic under Gus Van Sant's specific and brilliant direction. The biggest mistake you can make while watching this film is to take it too seriously. This may be Van Sant's most openly hilarious movie. The darker, the funnier. Matt Dillon deserves special mention as playing pitch-perfect-terrible. The whole film looks incredibly.
It seems Haynes wasn't the only one referencing a certain Sirk-ian sense of colour and suburbia, though this is subversion rather than homage. The satire is a little weak if only because we've seen the link between murder and media endlessly in film, but the performances elevate this significantly. Van Sant saves the sympathy for the teens as opposed to Dillon, so his outsider heart shines through. 3.5
I would not be surprised if this film went a way to inspiring Dan Gilroy's "Nightcrawler". It hits that difficult note of being funny in the way that real people are funny without being comedic, and effortlessly uses that to mask the sincerity of the tragedy unfolding until it knocks your feet out from under you.