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Nicola Peltz suffers unexpected backlash as her gritty directorial debut Lola is torn to shreds by unimpressed critics – with scathing reviews dismissing it as ‘poverty porn’ and an exploitative ‘vanity project’

Nicola Peltz’s directorial debut Lola is being torn apart by critics and viewers alike, who are calling the film nothing more than a “vanity project.”

The heiress, 29, wrote, directed and starred in the film, which premiered on February 9 with a limited theatrical and digital release.

She plays the title character, a teenage girl working to save enough money to get her and her younger brother out of the toxic home they share with their mother.

She is soon confronted with a series of traumatic clichés, such as drug abuse, poverty, sex work and teenage pregnancy.

But critics have branded the film ‘a glorified commercial’ for Nicola, accusing it of being ‘poverty porn’, meaning the exploitation of poverty for entertainment and artistic recognition.

Nicola Peltz's directorial debut Lola has been torn apart by critics and viewers alike, who have called the film nothing more than a 'vanity project' (depicted in film)

Nicola Peltz’s directorial debut Lola has been torn apart by critics and viewers alike, who have called the film nothing more than a ‘vanity project’ (depicted in film)

The heiress, 29, wrote, directed and starred in the film, which premiered on February 9, with a limited theatrical and digital release (pictured at premiere)

The heiress, 29, wrote, directed and starred in the film, which premiered on February 9, with a limited theatrical and digital release (pictured at premiere)

The heiress, 29, wrote, directed and starred in the film, which premiered on February 9, with a limited theatrical and digital release (pictured at premiere)

She plays the title character, a teenage girl who works to save enough money to get her and her younger brother out of the toxic home they share with their mother (depicted in film)

She plays the title character, a teenage girl who works to save enough money to get her and her younger brother out of the toxic home they share with their mother (depicted in film)

She plays the title character, a teenage girl who works to save enough money to get her and her younger brother out of the toxic home they share with their mother (depicted in film)

To write for Reviewed onlineAyeen Forootan said: ‘There is nothing truly surprising or new to be found in Lola’s poorly written and stereotypically melodramatic story, which is mostly realized as typical arrangements of manufactured intensity and overt sentiment-baiting’.

While The guards Kady Ruth Ashcraft called the project a “laughably oblique film” and wrote, “Lola, whose protagonist travels from one traumatic experience to another, does not explore the hardship, but exploits it.”

She added: “Filled to the brim with underbaked, often harmful tropes – the supportive black best friend, a queer child met with an unceremonious death, the virginal stripper saved by motherhood, a hypocritical Christian drunk – let the film makes you wonder what could have happened. This would be achieved if any of these characters or their storylines were given as much attention as the blunders gave to the light falling on Peltz Beckham’s cheekbones.’

During registration Spectrum cultureAndrew Burton acknowledged that Lola was ‘a film destined for ridicule’, with Nicola being the daughter of billionaire Nelson Peltz and as far removed from poverty as it is possible to be.

But he continued, “It’s no law that directors who make slice-of-life films have to be personally familiar with the material they’re portraying, but before they even look at Lola, the gap between the dead-end world in which the film takes place and the Peltz Beckham background stands out as shocking.

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“You can’t help but feel that the project is doomed from the start because it is conceptually untenable.”

He added: ‘In general, Lola relies too much on displaying flashy signifiers (cigarettes, crosses, make-up supplies) at the expense of planning around them.’

To write for Wherever I lookAustin Estrada said, “Lola’s script takes such huge melodramatic swings without painting a full picture of the characters that the entire film feels like an after-school special.”

But critics have branded the film 'a glorified commercial' for Nicola, accusing it of being 'poverty porn', meaning the exploitation of poverty for entertainment and artistic recognition (depicted in film)

But critics have branded the film 'a glorified commercial' for Nicola, accusing it of being 'poverty porn', meaning the exploitation of poverty for entertainment and artistic recognition (depicted in film)

But critics have branded the film ‘a glorified commercial’ for Nicola, accusing it of being ‘poverty porn’, meaning the exploitation of poverty for entertainment and artistic recognition (depicted in film)

Other viewers came to the same conclusion, with one reviewer concluding: ‘Overall, “Lola” was a forgettable and lackluster cinematic experience. Save your time and money for a movie that delivers on its promises.’

While another took to social media to write: ‘I’m watching Lola, Nicola Peltz Beckham’s poverty porn vanity project, and damn, it’s awful and beyond my wildest expectations.’

Most viewers criticized Nicola’s failure to gain any understanding of the world she was trying to create.

While many others turned a blind eye to her acting and took issue with the fact that she consistently “stared into space with perfect makeup,” as another complained, “I felt like the entire movie was based on her looked beautiful and gave her flattering close-ups. ‘.

Speak with WWD in February, Nicola responded to the backlash she received for presenting herself as a struggling, drug-addicted teenage stripper while living a life of almost unimaginable privilege.

She said, “The way I see it, I feel very connected to the characters I’ve created. And like I said, my best friend and my godson, they came from my life and a lot of connections and relationships came from my life.

‘But of course I didn’t grow up like Lola at all. And I wanted to write a story from a person’s perspective and another point of view that was not my personal opinion and not my upbringing.

‘I am an actress and my dream is to look at the world from different perspectives.’

Most viewers criticized Nicola's failure to gain any understanding of the world she was trying to create (depicted in film)

Most viewers criticized Nicola's failure to gain any understanding of the world she was trying to create (depicted in film)

Most viewers criticized Nicola’s failure to gain any understanding of the world she was trying to create (depicted in film)

Speaking to WWD in February, Nicola responded to the backlash she received for presenting herself as a struggling, drug-addicted teenage stripper while living a life of almost unimaginable privilege (pictured in December)

Speaking to WWD in February, Nicola responded to the backlash she received for presenting herself as a struggling, drug-addicted teenage stripper while living a life of almost unimaginable privilege (pictured in December)

Speaking to WWD in February, Nicola responded to the backlash she received for presenting herself as a struggling, drug-addicted teenage stripper while living a life of almost unimaginable privilege (pictured in December)

The actress has also been criticized for unfairly using her elite background to pursue her pet project.

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Nicola managed to enlist the help of 28-time Grammy-winning producer Quincy Jones, the man behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, to help with the soundtrack for Lola.

Quincy’s daughter, Kenya Kinski-Jones, 30, happens to be dating Nicola’s older brother Will, 37.

Nicola previously revealed the film was six years in the making, saying: ‘I wrote it when I was 23, and it was such a labor of love. I put my heart and soul into it.”

What do critics say about Lola?

The guard:

“If a nepobaby makes a laughably oblique film portraying the struggles of the impoverished class, but hardly anyone watches, will that hurt her career?”

‘Peltz Beckham has achieved something with Lola: it’s called ‘poverty porn’, and in film that means the exploitation of the conditions of poverty for entertainment and artistic recognition.’

‘Lola, whose protagonist travels from one traumatic experience to another, does not explore the hardships, but exploits them.’

“Peltz Beckham cosplays an underprivileged darling, dressed in desperation garb, in a film whose message about hardship could be summed up as ‘pout your way out of poverty.’

Reviewed online:

‘There is nothing really surprising or new to be found in Lola’s poorly written and stereotypically melodramatic story, which is mostly realized as typical arrangements of manufactured intensity and overt sentiment-baiting’.

Spectrum culture

‘It’s no law that directors making slice-of-life films have to be personally familiar with the material they’re portraying, but before they even look at Lola, the gap between the dead-end world in which the film exists is striking plays and the background of Peltz Beckham. as shocking. You can’t help but feel that the project is doomed from the start because it is conceptually untenable.’

“For a film that owes so much to Euphoria, Lola could use a healthy dose of the show’s blazing madness; instead, it seems that Peltz Beckham largely copied his color palette. Or maybe the problem lies deeper: maybe she just doesn’t know enough about this world to fully explore it?’

Wherever I look

“Lola’s script takes such huge melodramatic swings without painting a full picture of the characters that the entire film feels like an after-school special.”

‘While the film is keen to show that these struggles and traumas happen to people every day, it also feels like trauma porn. The melodramatic story beats have little build-up and the characters have little agency.’

“In the end, we know as much about who Lola is and what she wants as we did at the beginning: nothing.”

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