THE ACCUSED [1988] movie review

December 31, 2011 · Print This Article

THE ACCUSED came onto my radar screen recently after seeing SOFIE’S CHOICE.  Meryl Streep in the latter is widely credited as giving the best performance by an actress in any movie.  In further browsing that list I saw that Jodie Foster’s performance in the former was also high ranking.  While I 100% agree that Streep’s character is incomparably brilliant, I found Foster’s to be well-acted, but not exceptionally outstanding.  This is perhaps because Foster’s character is not really likable, while Streep’s is overwhelmingly charming, at first.

In the end I found THE ACCUSED to be, to use another person’s word, a “workmanlike” depiction of the brutality of rape and the mechanics of prosecuting a rape case. Perhaps Kelly McGillis as the prosecuting attorney was a bit too stiff, and the film itself basically all one, grim note. Nor was the guilt of anyone accused ambiguous to the viewer, therefore the verdicts from the cases had no surprise, but only a feeling of, “of course.”

What I would have rather of seen is a movie that explores why on Earth people, male or female, frequent dive bars like the one depicted in THE ACCUSED. What is the appeal of going to such a place? What does one want from going to a place like that? It is really beyond me to choose that type of place as my entertainment choice for the evening.

 

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