Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
USA, 1989. Carolco Pictures. Screenplay by Joe Eszterhas. Cinematography by Patrick Blossier. Produced by Irwin Winkler. Music by Philippe Sarde. Production Design by Jeannine Oppewall. Costume Design by Rita Salazar. Film Editing by Joele Van Effenterre. Academy Awards 1989. Golden Globe Awards 1989.
Jessica Lange is riveting as a lawyer whose Czech-born father (Armin Mueller-Stahl) emigrated to America before she was born. Her father’s heretofore unknown past comes slamming in her face when he is accused of war crimes as a Nazi during World War II. Now defending him in court, Lange goes on a journey of personal discovery in investigating the facts about her father’s life. Should she remain blissfully ignorant of the possibility of her father being a murderer, or must she face the fact that the kind of monster she thought was a distant notion of history might really be right inside her home? The last third of the film becomes a bit too woman-in-peril, but otherwise it’s thoughtful and provocative, surprisingly written by Showgirls and Basic Instinct scribe Joe Eszterhas and directed with vigour by Costa-Gavras.