AWFJ Women On Film – “Splice” – Review by Susan Granger

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Genetic engineering is at the forefront of science these days, so it’s not surprising that brilliant biochemists Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), lovers-and-colleagues who have been featured on the cover of Wired magazine, are given free rein in their laboratory facilities. Their specialty is “multi-specie morphism,” a.k.a. splicing DNA from different animals to create new hybrids. Now they propose stretching the boundaries by adding human DNA to revolutionize medicine. But the French pharmaceutical company that funds their research forbids it. So do they meekly go back to their desks in defeat? Far from it.

Rhetorically asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Elsa secretly uses her own DNA and the result is a bizarre, mutant creature that names itself Dren, which is ‘nerd’ spelled backwards. Their ‘experiment’ is so extraordinary that the self-serving scientists rationalize, “Nobody’s going to care about a few rules when they see what we’ve made.”

Unable to verbalize except in squeaks and chirps, Dren (Delphine Chaneac) possesses an eerie, uncommon intelligence, expressing herself with evocative words made out of Scrabble letters. While somewhat humanoid, Dren also displays a surprising array of unique physical characteristics, including long, hinged bird-like legs, amphibious lungs, retractable wings and a prehensile tail with a poisonous stinger tip.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.