In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity.In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity.In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity.
This piece is slow-moving. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, if the dialogue is top-notch and the directing assured. Here, unfortunately, we are treated to scene after scene of two people sitting in a room while one talks (and sews, and sews, and sews) and the other listens. This gives way to a voice-over which narrates the central storyline in the form of flashbacks - an uninspired device which also tests ones patience after a while.
If the story was gripping, or at least told with more inspired directing, it would be a rewarding experience, as it is certainly very well made. Unfortunately, each flashback lasts just long enough to begin to arouse one's interest before lurching awkwardly back to the talking and the sewing - effectively destroying any build-up of tension.
Sadly, one thing that seriously challenged my ability to become immersed was the casting of Anna Paquin, whose facial gurning and increasing resemblance to Val Kilmer (as both their faces grow ever wider) was distracting, and her ill-fitting presence made the whole thing feel consciously like a TV show. Overall it's worth a watch, but could be so much better with more inspired writing and directing.
- Jul 9, 2018