Lindsay Lohan's Latest Legitimacy Crusade

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So The Canyons hasn't gotten great reviews, and rehab isn't far from her mind, but things, for once, seem to be looking up for Lindsay Lohan. And we're actually looking forward to her attempts to re-legitimize herself. 

The beginning of 2013 wasn't going Lohan's way. A January New York Times Magazine feature detailed just how difficult she was to work with, and by March she was ordered back to rehab after yet another of her innumerable clashes with the law. But, now, as she prepares to exit rehab—she can leave on Wednesday—the news cycle is actually, perhaps miraculously, going in her favor. TMZ today reports that Lohan has asked to spend more time in rehab, to have a "a transition period before re-entering the free world." So, even though TMZ is still skeptical about Lohan's sensible behavior, they have sources telling them she's reformed her ways. 

On the professional front, reviews for The Canyons—the Paul Schrader-directed film that is opening both in theaters and on VOD Friday—haven't been good, but she hasn't borne all of the criticism.  In fact, Variety's Scott Foundas actually liked the film, and Lohan's performance, writing that she "gives one of those performances, like Marlon Brando’s in 'Last Tango in Paris,' that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography." (Lohan tweeted the link to Foundas' review with the message: "humbled and feeling so much gratitude.") Not everyone is so enthusiastic—Joe Neumaier at the Daily News said she "proves watchable," which is sort of a backhanded compliment—but even one rave is better than anything associated with Liz & Dick

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And her acting career may be going even better, more respectable places. Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 reports (via The Playlist) that Lohan is connected to Ben Affleck's next directorial outing, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Live by Night. It's just a rumor, of course, but even a vague intimation that Lindsay Lohan could be involved in a Ben Affleck/Dennis Lehane movie — both of them so associated with awards and critical prestige these days — goes a long way. (Update: We got word last night from a source close to a movie that the Affleck-Lohan rumor is, alas, just a rumor.) 

In the meantime, Lohan's upcoming comeback media tour is relatively subdued. A sit-down interview and short-run "docu-series" on Oprah's network is certainly better than an E! reality show, we think. (Oprah likes helping people not exploiting them, right? Even though she is paying LiLo big bucks.) Though she will be briefly popping up on that network, doing a guest hosting stint on Chelsea Lately

We, like practically everyone, have given Lohan a hard time in the past. But at this point wouldn't it be a welcome change of pace, heartening really, to see her succeed? If she can at all recapture the spark of potential she glimmered with in the early 2000s, she could be really something. In a good way, this time. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.