Quick Telecast
Expect News First

Film review: Marlene revisits the Steven Truscott case

0 28


Educational but overwrought, film doesn’t trust the power of the story

Article content

The case of Lynne Harper and Steven Truscott is one of the more infamous miscarriages of justice in Canada. Harper was 12 when she was raped and murdered near Clinton, Ont., in the summer of 1959. Truscott, then 14, was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to hang, making him the nation’s youngest death-row inmate.

Article content

Though his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was released on parole after 10 years, Truscott remained a convicted murderer until 2007, when the Ontario Court of Appeal acquitted him of the charges, issued an apology and offered compensation for the time he served.

The case has fascinated Canadians for decades. It was the subject of the 1975 film Recommendation for Mercy, which was released in the U.S. under the unfortunate title Teenage Psycho Killer. Ann-Marie MacDonald fictionalized it in her 2003 novel The Way the Crow Flies. And Beverley Cooper wrote about it in Innocence Lost, a 2007 play that was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award.

Director and co-writer Wendy Hill-Tout’s Marlene is a straightforward telling of the tale that focuses on Marlene Truscott, Steven’s wife and a long-time crusader in defence of his innocence. She’s played (depending on her age) by Julia Sarah Stone and Kristin Booth. Three actors portray Steven, but the one with the most screen time is the eldest, Greg Bryk.

Article content

I wish I’d loved Marlene – I was certainly educated by it. But the film tends to overplay its emotional hand, whether through Janal Bechthold’s overpowering (and, to its credit, Canadian Screen Award nominated) score or a tendency for the characters to dramatize their every feeling.

“I can’t let you go to your grave a convicted murderer!” Booth shouts in one of the early scenes. Later we see Stone literally dancing in a field of leaves on news that Truscott has been released from prison. She also has a habit of breaking down while swimming, reacting to flashbacks that we see on the screen but which were presumably not visible in the water.

It’s certainly an uplifting story, though its final note is soured somewhat by the reminder that the actual killer was never found. But there’s enough natural drama and suspense here without the awkward, mawkish push given to it by the filmmakers, who don’t seem to trust it to move forward under its own power.

Marlene opens April 8 in Toronto, Guelph, Calgary and Edmonton; and April 15 in Saskatoon and Regina.

2 stars out of 5


Educational but overwrought, film doesn’t trust the power of the story

Article content

The case of Lynne Harper and Steven Truscott is one of the more infamous miscarriages of justice in Canada. Harper was 12 when she was raped and murdered near Clinton, Ont., in the summer of 1959. Truscott, then 14, was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to hang, making him the nation’s youngest death-row inmate.

Article content

Though his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was released on parole after 10 years, Truscott remained a convicted murderer until 2007, when the Ontario Court of Appeal acquitted him of the charges, issued an apology and offered compensation for the time he served.

The case has fascinated Canadians for decades. It was the subject of the 1975 film Recommendation for Mercy, which was released in the U.S. under the unfortunate title Teenage Psycho Killer. Ann-Marie MacDonald fictionalized it in her 2003 novel The Way the Crow Flies. And Beverley Cooper wrote about it in Innocence Lost, a 2007 play that was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award.

Director and co-writer Wendy Hill-Tout’s Marlene is a straightforward telling of the tale that focuses on Marlene Truscott, Steven’s wife and a long-time crusader in defence of his innocence. She’s played (depending on her age) by Julia Sarah Stone and Kristin Booth. Three actors portray Steven, but the one with the most screen time is the eldest, Greg Bryk.

Article content

I wish I’d loved Marlene – I was certainly educated by it. But the film tends to overplay its emotional hand, whether through Janal Bechthold’s overpowering (and, to its credit, Canadian Screen Award nominated) score or a tendency for the characters to dramatize their every feeling.

“I can’t let you go to your grave a convicted murderer!” Booth shouts in one of the early scenes. Later we see Stone literally dancing in a field of leaves on news that Truscott has been released from prison. She also has a habit of breaking down while swimming, reacting to flashbacks that we see on the screen but which were presumably not visible in the water.

It’s certainly an uplifting story, though its final note is soured somewhat by the reminder that the actual killer was never found. But there’s enough natural drama and suspense here without the awkward, mawkish push given to it by the filmmakers, who don’t seem to trust it to move forward under its own power.

Marlene opens April 8 in Toronto, Guelph, Calgary and Edmonton; and April 15 in Saskatoon and Regina.

2 stars out of 5

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Quick Telecast is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment
buy kamagra buy kamagra online
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock