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I saw this film with my girlfriend about a year after I graduated from
college, where I had lived in the alpha-male, females-as-accessories
environment of a fraternity house. While I know of nothing that went on
my fraternity that compares to the horrible events of this film, I was
struck that some of the beer-fueled conversations I had with my fraternity
brothers could have led to the same results with more likelihood than I
realized at the time (or care to admit even to this day). Suffice it to
say, I cried all the way home from this movie, as much from shame as
Twelve years later, I still cannot recall being as horrifyingly struck by a scene as I was during the rape scene at the end of "The Accused" -- and I definitely do not have the stomach to see it again. The movie, in my view, is exceedingly well-acted (Foster's Oscar was well-deserved) and well-told. It has the rare gift of touching the viewer viscerally for the entire duration -- discomfort being the feeling.
This isn't virtuoso film-making like "The Godfather", but at the same time I can think of no greater compliment for a movie than it truly opened my eyes to a new perspective that I was not mature enough to grasp on my own. I left the theater a different person -- how often can that be said?
This movie is about more than rape. It's about societal views of rape and the objectification of the female in a patriarchal society. The actual courtroom drama portion is not prosecuting the rapists, but the men who cheered on and encouraged the gang rape of a woman in a public place. As you watch the movie, look at the image of the woman on the pinball machine; look at the friend who turned away; the boyfriend who expects the victim to "get over it;" the lawyer who thinks it's OK to cut a deal that removes a rape charge in order to get the rapists behind bars, without thought for the life of the victim afterward. Society is on trial here.
This 1988 Paramount release was the film that made many people take former child star Jodie Foster seriously as an adult actress. Foster won a well deserved Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a woman who is raped in a bar by a group of perverted drunks while everybody else in the bar encourages it. After the ordeal, she persistently seeks full justice for what she has suffered. Kelly McGillis, who had previously appeared as Tom Cruise's main squeeze in "Top Gun" lends credibility to her role as a tough DA. This genuine thriller of a film (which was based on a true story) deserves high praise for all involved.
Perfectly knowing that a lot of people would get inspired, personally
relate or cite examples from this film, there is no reason to deny that
except for the rape victim Sarah Tobias, all the other main characters,
even attorney Kathryn Murphy, are written blatantly as stereotypical as
they can be. Same can be said about the atmosphere, circumstances and
the participators of the incident. The screenwriters have played only
one masterstroke by showing the whole rape incident much later in a
flashback, which perhaps helps us to relate better to the victim's
However predictable and blunt the film appears in its formation, it delivers it message right with the help of the outstanding (and Oscar-winning) performance of Jodie Foster. She just plays her part with so much passion that sometimes it would seem that she really IS the victim. I wonder how she could get such a driving force for her role which is so powerful and vengeful, yet so helpless and fragile. It is the performance of her career, Clarice Sterling doesn't even come in comparison. Her job in this film should be treated as educational material.
I was appalled by one reviewers comments on this moving stating that a
rape victim "got what she deserved". NO one Woman or man) deserves to
be raped, violated or harmed just because they were at the wrong place.
This movie is based on a true story, and the actors were very moving. People make mistakes, being a PERSON that may be upset and choose to behave in a mannor not appropriately, yet when that Person chooses to stop and say NO, then No is it. No, Stop, Don't, these words do not mean, well, I ask for it. Anyone who thinks otherwise, I feel sorry for because they are sad, lonely and deprived of self worth.
Jodi Foster Is a great actress and put's all her strength in her roles. She is very talented and she and Kelly M. made this movie. Hopefully the person that had to endure this horrid act, is going on, with strenght and success.
On 6 March 1983, a woman named Cheryl Araujo was gang-raped by four men on a
pool table at Big Dan's Tavern in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A number of
men in the bar were cheering the attackers on and after the victim escaped
into the street, they continued drinking and joking about the
Ms. Araujo, 21, and all four of her assailants were Portuguese, a major ethnicity in former New England "mill towns" like New Bedford. The Portuguese community sided with its errant sons, rather than their victim, and Cheryl Araujo was basically driven out of town by the animosity of her neighbors. She was killed in an automobile accident in Florida in 1986, leaving behind two children.
This film was loosely based on the Araujo case. Several of Jodie Foster's scenes were so powerful they nearly brought me to tears -- specifically, the scene where she confronts lawyer Kelly McGillis in the latter's apartment during a dinner party; her courtroom testimony; and the horrifying rape scene.
Kelly McGillis seemed to be sleepwalking through this entire film, with only a few moments when she roused herself a bit, but not enough to help. Even so, she appeared more sensitive than the volunteer from the rape crisis center, who stood NEXT TO the ER doctor during the post-assault pelvic exam. If I had been on that table, I'd have wrenched a foot out of the stirrups and kicked her. A woman who has just been gang raped doesn't need one more person invading her privacy.
I agree with an earlier poster who noted the difficult roles of the "cheer and clap" trio. It must have been extremely challenging for a guy who has any sensitivity at all about women to convincingly portray the kind of jerks those three were. My hat's off to all three of them.
One of the roughest films ever produced that is pure misery to sit through due to its realism and Jodie Foster's striking Oscar-winning performance. Foster stars as a sexual victim who tries to get prison sentences imposed upon the men who cheered on her gang rape at a sleazy roadhouse. Foster is far from being an angel herself and every little thing in her past seems to come back and haunt her. A great supporting turn from Kelly McGillis (who plays Foster's lawyer) just adds to Foster's show-stopping role. Not a film I love, but a good film that displays the seemingly ungodly cinematic talents of Jodie Foster. 4 stars out of 5.
I was appalled by one reviewers comments on this movie, stating that a
rape victim "got what she deserved". NO one, Woman or man, deserves to
be raped, violated or harmed just because they were at the wrong place.
This movie is based on a true story, and the actors were very moving. People make mistakes, someone could be that upset and choose to behave in a manner not appropriate, yet when that Person chooses to stop and say NO, then No is it. No, Stop, Don't, these words do not mean, well, I ask for it. Anyone who thinks otherwise, I feel sorry for because they are sad, lonely and deprived of self worth.
Jodi Foster Is a great actress and puts all her strength in her roles. She is very talented and she and Kelly M. made this movie. Hopefully the person that had to endure this horrid act, is going on, with strength and success.
The shocking true story of a bar room gang rape is lifted from the headlines to become, with dramatic license, a serious and troubling study of sexism at its worst, when the victim herself is accused of 'asking for it'. Jodie Foster offers a courageous performance as the tough but vulnerable Sarah Tobias, whose behavior on the night of the crime was certainly provocative, but as the flashback re-enactment shows all too clearly no amount of provocation could justify such a brutal response. Up until those final scenes the film is a well-crafted but largely conventional topical drama, with lots of predictable bonding between Foster and her conscience stricken attorney Kelly McGillis. But the attack itself, teasingly saved until the final reel, is so graphic and degrading it obliterates the memory of everything that happened earlier. The scene is pure exploitation, but it serves a purpose, putting audiences in the same, ugly position as the cheering onlookers in the bar, who in many ways were even guiltier than the rapists themselves.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie thinking of the Oscar it received for Jodie
Foster. And mark my words that was the only thing that was good in this
The theme of this movie was simple - a girl is gang-raped in a bar while the convicts escape the complete term of crime by plea-bargaining their charge down to "reckless endangerment". But the victim is furious about this judgement and wants the ones who cheered on this crime to be brought to justice.
The story is typical and pretty much predictable. Over emphasis is given to the emotional drama than to the court room buildup. During trial it looked as if the defense lawyers were not the least bit interested in protecting their clients' interests - this part which should have been the essence of the movie has been completely neglected. There are few hitches as to how the attorney became aware of the fact that the guy playing on the video machine was the one who called the police. Too much of coincidence and assumed facts have ruined the movie. The only positive parts of this movie are the characters portrayed by Jodie Foster and Kelly McGills.
Try at your own risk - worth watching for Jodie Foster performance!
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