This is a dramatisation of the real-life investigation into the notorious Yorkshire Ripper murders of the late 1970s, showing the effect that it had on the health and career of Assistant ... See full summary »
25 years ago, Jane saw a man killing her mother. Today, she's a well adjusted wife and mother herself. While having a physical, she notices a doctor who looks like the killer and reports him. No one believes her - except one cop.
Part 1:- Trainee social worker Janet Leach is asked by Gloucester police to be the appropriate adult at the interrogation of a simple-minded suspect. He is Fred West, who, with his wife Rosemary, is accused of killing their daughter and burying her in their garden at 25, Cromwell Street. West claims the death was accidental and his wife knew nothing of it. However grisly details gradually come to light and West owns to nine other murders, of girls who stayed at his house. Janet soon finds herself intimidated by the intensity of the situation, gutter press approaches to which her bi-polar husband succumbs and the foul-mouthed threats of Rosemary West. But just as disturbing is the rapport which Fred believes he has with her, terming her his only friend and confessing to her things he will not tell the police. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The photos of the victims on the police investgation board, were not of the actual victims of Fred and Rose West. See more »
Disclaimer in opening titles: "This is a true story. What follows is based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts. Some scenes have been created for the purposes of dramatisation." See more »
Emily Watson, one of the great actors of our time, gives a superb performance as Janet Leach that may well be the finest work she has ever done. She is nothing less than hypnotic here as she lays bare the soul of a vulnerable woman who is involved in an experience she is completely unprepared for. While the portrait of Leach is profound and an incredible achievement, Watson doesn't get in our faces with her ACTING because she is almost invisible as she disappears into the character. What a truly memorable, stunning performance this is. The entire cast is excellent, as are all elements of the production, including writing and direction. However, it is Emily Watson who elevates this film to an artistic level of depth and realism that makes it totally riveting. There is no attempt by Watson to draw attention to herself and "steal" the film. "Gosford Park" is another example of how she shines in an ensemble piece and it naturally becomes her showcase. Her style is not flashy enough and far too superbly subtle to win Oscars. There isn't the teeth gnashing PERFORMANCE style of a Charlize Theron in "Monster", the sort of Halle Berry one-shot fluke that brings home the gold. Watson is an artist in the truest sense and it's her work alone that is her reward. In this film, what she does is so extraordinary, even for her, that perhaps the praise of critics will this time cause award committees and voters to take note of an actor they have too long overlooked because she never yells "look at me!" At any rate, reward yourself by watching an excellent film with an outstanding actress at her best, as usual.
17 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?