Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

Sarah Paxton simpers her way through this Lifetime movie as Susan Wright, a woman who tied her husband to their bed and stabbed him 193 times. I think the movie tries to argue that she wasn't given a fair trial, something it hammers home to the point of numbness. I'm not incredibly familiar with the actual case, so I only have the film to go by, which shows us a young mother and wife who marries someone who gets high on cocaine and beats the shit out of her repeatedly, threatens to kill her anytime she tries to leave, and who then ties him down and kills him when she's finally figured out that he's never going to let her escape. According to the movie, she keeps stabbing him, and then pretends he's just left her, because she's finally reached her breaking point and is beyond all rational thought. She's convicted of first degree murder on, from what I can tell, hearsay evidence and the fact that she's so young and pretty. And that was my real annoyance with this movie. Now, granted, I don't watch Lifetime movies for something factual or something honest or something moving (though it does happen on very rare occasions), I watch Lifetime movies in the hope of entertaining, stress-relieving trash. But in this flick, they cast Lisa Edelstein as perhaps the world's most irritating lawyer stereotype, who seems to take the murder of someone she's never met very personally, and then goes off on a nonstop vendetta to play on the jury's sympathies, presumably because Susan Wright is young and pretty. Edelstein's character says it constantly, that because Susan is young and pretty she thinks she can get away with everything, even murder, and it's her job not to let that happen. And she's not the only one, either. Several people say this throughout the movie. It's just hard not to feel like everyone's ganging up on her because she's young and pretty and therefore, somehow, must be guilty of first degree murder. And this despite the amount of people who know about the abuse, and despite the cocaine in his system lending credence to her story of his drug abuse, and despite people who actually overheard him say he was going to kill her. It's like they take someone who snapped psychologically and just railroad her into prison because they can't fucking stand that she's so young and pretty, and we must stop this young and pretty girl from getting something, guilty or no. And while I'm sure that's the point of this movie, it is frustrating as hell to watch. Seriously, the judge lets Lisa Edelstein throw the murder pictures all over the place and bring in a bed and straddle her assistant to recreate her theory of the murder in the most sensational manner possible, but the judge tells Susan not to cry in front of the jury because it will sway their sympathies? What? Fucking hell. *