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"Law & Order" Atonement (1996)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Star Struck.

6/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
23 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A beautiful young model (not the "ugly old model" that Briscoe jokingly references) is found with her head bashed in and the detectives begin following the threads through several dead ends to the real murderer. Michael Imperioli plays the limo driver who is so hopelessly in love with the model, who is just using him as a source for cocaine, that he's forced by passion and by circumstance to kill her.

A slight problem I had with the story is that Michael Imperioli doesn't look particularly homely -- not as uninteresting in appearance as he's described by everyone as being -- although his job as a limousine driver is definitely working against his sex appeal. Imperioli is dark and has even features. He's a little shorter than the other principles but Alan Ladd was short too. So was Mickey Rooney, and he married Ava Gardner.

The plot itself isn't outstanding, meaning that it's up to par for this above-average series. Suspects and relatives come and go. But the idea of a pointless, desperate, hopeless love for someone who is unattainable ought to strike a resonant chord in many of us. You know, worshiping from afar? (I wonder whatever happened to Kathy Hall, that cheerleader in my high school. Oh, those pom poms!) It's interesting too because the victim, the model, is described at first as ambitious but otherwise perfectly normal. It's only in the course of the story's development that her bitchy and dissolute qualities become apparent. I appreciate that kind of very human ambiguity. It makes for a more mature product rather than a cartoon of good and evil.

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