The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
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Fact-based story about Ira Einhorn, a 70's peace-nik who is generally credited as one of the founders of Earth Day. In the late 60's and early 70's, Ira lived with Holly Maddux. But when she tries to leave him in 1977, she suddenly disappears. Later her body is discovered in a trunk in Einhorn's apartment. Let out on bail, Einhorn flees from the country and manages to elude authorities for years. Meanwhile he is convicted in absentia and sentenced to prison. Holly's father is determined to see his daughter's murderer brought to justice and has him tracked and is eventually caught in France in 1997. Martin Donovan appears as the assistant D.A. who put the case together. Today, Einhorn is now appealing his conviction. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
If you're looking to dissuade your daughters from the fella she adores but you think little of, have her sit through this. Ira Einhorn was a celebrity of the peace / earth movements of the 60s and 70s. Extremely well respected, his peacenik persona cloaked a darker side that hated women and thought very little of anything other than himself and his personal causes. When his long-time girlfriend Holly Maddux decides to leave him, she disappears and eighteen months later her decomposed body is found in a locked trunk in his apartment. Through it all, Ira maintains his innocence, doing his best to convince the world that the American Government set him up, that Holly's murder was done to 'embarrass' him. Out on bail, he flees the country and lives at large in the UK until being caught in the late 90s in France. The French, however, knowing he has been convicted in absentia of Holly's murder and faces life in prison without parole once returned to the US, refuses to extradict him. Apparently, a higher court overturned this decision and he is currently appealing a later order to be sent back. Kevin Anderson and Naomi Watts are superb as the leads; he gives you the shivers as he unveils the layers of a clearly narcissistic sociopath and she, simply, breaks your heart. How many promising young women have you known who fall victim to their own lack of identity and the whims of an abusive lover? Filmed as a tv miniseries, this is a three and a half hour vehicle for victim's rights. While the first half of this is used to set up Ira and Holly's dysfunctional relationship, the perspective of Holly's family, and the anguish they go through in trying to bring their daughter's murderer to justice, takes precedence in the second half. If the evidence weren't so damning against Ira Einhorn, this would be just another manipulative movie of the week (however well acted). As it is, it leaves the viewer haunted by the possibilities of a life brutally extinguished and infuriated by the fact that justice is continually skirted by the one person responsible for the crime.
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