Slide 15: Barbara Baekeland (Savage Grace)
Tom Kalin's Savage Grace brings to the screen the incredible lives of the Baekeland family, first immortalized in the 1985 true-crime book of the same name by Natalie Robins and Steven M. L. Aronson. Barbara Baekeland had married into a family rich from inventing the plastic Bakelite. From that elevated social and economic position, she'd hoped to join the ranks of world's rich. Only her husband left her and her son turned gay. As an attempt to salvage it all, she seduced her son Tony (or so she claimed) to cure him of his homosexuality. Instead, Tony snapped, killing his mother in 1972. Kalin, in talking about the historic model for the character played by Julianne Moore, says: "Though you can see that Barbara was the mother from hell from her transgressing traditional boundaries, you can also see from the early photographs that she was unbelievably devoted to her child, had an incredible tenderness, was ahead of her time in her thinking about how you raise a child…for her it was not the lack of love, but an extortion or distortion that became suffocating."