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Jodie Foster is a woman who gets gang raped at a pinball machine at a bar in this based on a true story movie that won Oscars. While at the first trial for rape, the perpetrators receive a light sentence, for what Foster believes to be because of her character and how she was dressed - the "she shouldn't have been out at night or dressed that way" excuse. She hires Kelly McGillis to charge the men again and it plays out in court. The movie gives different POV's and shows graphic details of the attack several times. Foster gives an outstanding performance. The actors who play the perpetrators are stereotypes however and it does diminish a bit from the overall film. The movie is a definite roller coaster ride and will stay with you afterwards. A sign of a good movie
"The Accused" (1988): I was blown away by this one when I first saw it, have seen it a few times since, but not for years. I wondered if it would still hold up after all, it MIGHT be SO "Eighties", etc. First of all, Jodie Foster does NOT let it slip into a mere Period Piece. She brings seriousness to this harrowing story. Kelly McGillis does a good job as her lawyer, too. The power of this film lies somewhat in the photography, quite a lot in the story, and overwhelmingly in the performance of Foster, who takes it to SUCH a real level SO fast, that wasting time being distracted by a slightly thick musical score, or the fact that you are seeing late '80's fashions in a late 80's film (duh!) is quickly dismissed. This is High Art acting. It is also a film that should not be seen by younger children.
The Accused is directed by Jonathan Kaplan and written by Tom Topor. It
stars Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis. Music is by Brad Fiedel and
cinematography by Ralf D. Bode.
After Sarah Tobias (Foster) suffers a brutal rape in a road side bar one night, prosecutor Kathryn Murphy (McGillis) takes up the case to bring the perpetrators to justice. Including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack.
Some have bemoaned The Accused as being a TV movie type production, while the thematic edge of Sarah Tobias being a "good time gal, even slutty", has caused consternation in highbrow circles. What garbage!
Depressingly based around an incident that occurred in Massachusetts 1983, The Accused is still a powerful film watching experience over twenty years after it was released. It finds Kaplan and Topor refusing to sweeten the meal, it is what it is, uncompromising in detail whilst casting sleazy like shadows over the justice system and the marginalisation of Sarah Tobias. In fact, as an observation of the law, with its plea bargains and shifting around of character judgements and actions, it's a potent piece of cinema.
Foster is terrific and completely deserved her Oscar win for Best Actress. She has Sarah as tough and demonstrative in her belief that justice has not been served, that because she likes a drink, a tug of weed and a flirt with the boys, she is fair game to be ganged raped whilst others cheer on like Neanderthals. The energy and raw emotion shown by Foster is fantastic and a lesson in acting that budding actresses should study. McGillis was overlooked for praise, but she also is wonderful, brilliantly written by Topor, Kathryn Murphy in McGillis' hands builds from a weary cynic at the beginning to a force of nature later in the courtroom. The scenes there between Foster and McGillis are enough to shatter your heart.
Opening the film with a scene that sees Sarah screaming and fleeing from the bar, her clothes torn, the makers rightly show the actual rape at the end of the film in flashback form. It's harrowing and devastating, and the point where the picture achieves all the goals it set itself. If you are sitting there thinking about TV production value or predictability? Then quite frankly you really haven't been paying attention. 9/10
Gang rapists are brought to justice, but what about those loathsome,
wretched, disgusting bystanders who vicariously and by proxy take part
in the assault. This is the theme here and caring, sensitives will have
little doubt that it is sinful if not illegal.
Jodie Foster's Oscar winning performance is, arguably, justified because she no less then dominates every scene she is in. However, this is partly due to the weakness of the film as a whole. The men accused, trial, and backdrop of the movie are all so flat, uninteresting and unremarkable it weakens the exposition and the actual rape scene seems exploitative.
A social sickness ("a rape is reported in the US every 6 minutes") that certainly is ineffectually addressed and approached is in dire need of our attention and consultation.
There are few performances in American cinema that are regarded as being the best of all time. This is one of them. When looked at a hundred years down the line, Jodie Foster's adult turn as a rape victim will be considered one of the best of her generation. In fact, Jodie Foster's performance is right behind Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice" as being one of the superlative, best performances of all-time American cinema. Bold, raw, nuanced, and carnal. Jodie Foster deserved every accolade she received for this film, including her "Best Actress" Oscar. Some of the film can be hard to watch, incredibly gut-wrenching rape scene and scenes where Jodie graphically describes what happened to her.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Accused is a film that accomplishes two wonderful things: 1) it
tells a great story about the injustice of rape, which is done in a way
that makes the story timeless, and 2) it showcases the great acting
talent of Jodie Foster in perhaps her best performance.
The film starts with Foster running out of local dive bar screaming and crying. It's a great entrance; and, you are immediately drawn into the story of her plight.
The director uses great techniques to tell the story of what happened to Foster's character. One of the best ways is his use of interviews between the assistant DA (McGillis) and the dialogue of various characters who describe to her what happened that night to Foster. The Directer also makes great use of flashbacks by Foster and other characters. The story unfolds to the climax at the end of the film in a brilliant court scene.
McGillis is also good as a DA who makes mistakes, but then attempts to redeem herself in the name of what is morally right.
This is a great film with many interesting elements. I just watched this on May 3, 2007 after not having seen the film in probably 10 years and it is still as shocking and brilliant today as it was when it was made. If you happen to see The Accused listed to air on television, it is worth a look. Rating 8 out of 10.
A warning for viewers: This contains a very realistic graphic depiction
of rape. This movie is not recommended for those who would have serious
emotional issues (beyond the normal reactions) with the subject matter,
nor for anyone other than adults. The event depicted is allegedly based
upon the rape of a woman in New Bedford, MA by several men in the mid
Never an easy topic, this movie does an excellent job of depicting the brutality of a gang rape of a woman by three men in a local bar, while others line up for their turn or cheer the violence on. Witness, victim, and rapist viewpoints are presented to form a complete picture of the events that took place.
Foster's performance throughout is intense, to say the least. According to interviews subsequent to the movie, the rape scene was filmed in a single take, with nearly all of the male actors and crew members being devastated for hours afterwards. When you see the scene, you'll understand why. With only one exception, the acting of the cast was intense. McGillis' performance as ADA Katherine Murphy was less than stellar until the courtroom scene, and lacked the passion and intensity of the performances of others in the film.
While the subject matter is a difficult one to portray, the writers and directors do a wonderful job of hand holding the viewer from start to finish. Lighting and camera angles are expertly used to portray the mood of the various scenes. The subject of the rape itself is portrayed from the victim's, rapists', and eyewitness' point of view. It shows how quickly things can spin out of control, and in particular how a mob mentality can overrule common decency and morality.
The story line takes you from the crime, to the miscarriage of justice by an unsympathetic legal system, to the prosecution of those who goaded the gang rape. The testimony of a friend of one of the rapists who witnessed the crime is portrayed from his point of view. This is the scene that will likely provoke some controversy, as it is highly realistic. I was amazed that, with this scene, the movie got an "R" rating, and not an "NC-17" rating. There is nothing sexual, per se, about the scene. The directors and cast did an excellent job of portraying the true violence of rape itself.
Had it not been for McGillis' unenthusiastic performance, I would have given this one a 10, but instead it got a 9 from me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A girl is raped by a bunch of men in the game room of a bar, and they
are cheered on by other drunks. No one wants to come forward about what
they saw, and the girl's lawyer gives in easily by letting the men off
on a lesser charge and lesser jail time. The victim is furious and
feels even more trashy because she doesn't want these guys to walk away
with the truth hidden. The lawyer then decides to prosecute the guys
who cheered and supported the rape in order to make sure the truth
This movie had a much deeper meaning and story than simply a rape. The victim here comes off as flirty and provocatively dressed and often times it makes it seem like they were "asking for it" and a girls character can really be hurt by that and this movie beautifully shows that no matter how you act, or dress, or even what you say has no justification on rape or doing something to someone when they tell you "no". It's rape pure and simple and these jerks that watched and cheered and did nothing are very responsible and very guilty too. The movie had many good messages and it's an honest depiction of rape and how people try to classify it in different ways, when in reality rape is rape and there are no innocent sexual abuse or rape cases out there.
I thought Jodie did an amazing job, as did Kelly McGillis as her attorney. Bernie Coulson is also a great underrated star who did well here. Leo Rossi is such an annoying actor when he needs be and he did really well as one of the "cheerleaders" here. The direction was pretty good and the over all story was very nicely done. I think the thing I liked best was the victim's need to become a stronger woman after the events occurred, that really spoke to me, because it was almost like a passage into womanhood for her.
I thought the movie was really good, it was honest and blunt and did well with telling the whole story without details and then at the end it had the courtroom drama, which I always love, and then the details come out and we here them from many peoples point of view. 4/10 stars - nice drama
After years of never having done so, I recently watched Jodie Foster's
"amazing" "performance" in "The Accused". Jodie's normally a darn fine
actress, and it was bizarre to see such an absolutely awful performance
from her. This was pure and simple bad acting, and one of the least
impressive Oscar winning performances I've seen. The only positive
about her performance is that she is (slightly) better than the cartoon
characters that populated the bar and the cardboard cutout of Kelly
McGillis they wheeled from one scene to the next.
This film had a solid story, an important message to tell and what appeared to be a good screenplay, but a large chunk of this got lost somewhere in the mess of meaningful expressions and shouty overacting. The particularly appalling acted ending of the film appears to be a parody of the end of a Rocky movie. I was laughing for about ten seconds before I realized that it wasn't supposed to be funny.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Foster's performance makes a point to not let the audience off easy on this film: She is not trying to liked, or particularly vulnerable in any clichéd way. She simply -is- vulnerable, in fact, though not in the superficial sense of personal style, or in the deeper sense of self- esteem. And so, the viewer may find themselves facing the same confusion that a juror might have: Can a victim be so unsympathetic that they are no longer considered truly a victim? Perhaps a deeper film could have been made by not letting us -ever- view the rape scene, (where all doubt is removed for any rational person), but it is well done, and put off long enough in the altered time-line to give us a good chance to weigh some evidence on our own. As the character progresses, there is a duality of her actually becoming more of a sensitive person along with her learning how to be perceived in more positive light by the judge and jury. I found this intersection of real emotion and manipulation to be true to life. Personality itself is the tip of our personal iceberg, as superficial as a haircut, the part we manipulate to wend our way through life; changing is no more insincere than a new hairstyle would be.
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