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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An American Crime


What a terrible and horrific story this movie tells, is so sickening that it becomes almost unbelievable that this story happened, but then is based in the real life Indiana 1965 crime by a housewife, her children and other children.

So why would I be interested in watching such an awful story that the movie title clearly suggests that is going to be a crime story? Well, Ellen Page plays Sylvia Likens the girl that is tortured for months until she dies of brain hemorrhage, shock, and malnutrition. I may be biased as after Juno and Hard Candy, I’m just crazy about this young actress, but I find that her performance as a victim is quite interesting even when her character in the movie was possibly toned down from what the real life girl had to live. Even when I do believe that showing more real incidents would have made this story more disturbing, I do regret that the screenplay co written by director Tommy O’Haver decided to not exploit more Ellen Page’s dramatic abilities.

I couldn’t help reading more about the real life crime and what I found is an even worst account than what the movie tells. Again, telling everything more close to reality would have been awfully disturbing, but it would have been more accurate and could have made a more impact full story. When I say this I’m thinking about a terrible crime movie that most of you probably have seen: In Cold Blood that told the awful crime with more accuracy and spectacular cinematography; consequently touched people more. Unfortunately this movie lacks cinematic values and the story stays in the surface, detaching viewers who become only spectators.

I can't believe I’m deconstructing this movie, but honestly the only value this movie has is the story it tells and well, Ellen Page, as I didn’t liked Catherine Keener performance and I blame the director for that.

This is a movie that probably ended up in the “to avoid” list of many and I suggest you keep it there. But if you like Ellen Page performances, you have to see it.

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