Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he’s innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.
Letterboxd review by chavel ★★★★★
An aerial shot that opens is like no other, it starts overlooking over the exclusive Easton Bay and then turns upwards, with the shot swooping over estate after estate in ritzy Rhode Island for nearly a minute. In an overhead shot, these are the richest looking houses you’ve ever seen, property after property, perfectly, lushly landscaped. What is delivered in this Barbet Schroeder film is a snoop into the high society of this country (the living style is more Old English than American), and in a way, this hasn’t been a film that has been as highly valued as it should in passing years considering how it is a peerless perception of the elite, snide upper class that not really any other film has ever done closely as well.
Reversal of Fortune is Jeremy Irons’ icy aristocrat Oscar win as Claus Von Bulow, and it probes as to whether he planned murder of his wife or if he simply stood aside to watch as she sunk into suicidal anguish. The ten minutes that comes after the opening credits briskly recaps the crucial incidents of 1979 before Sunny (Glenn Close) fell into a coma that she would never pull out of; it’s so clear-cut we can understand the entire overlay of the prosecution narrative. Von Bulow was put on trial in 1982 and found guilty; the rest of the film is how he found the right lawyer in Alan Dershowitz (a just-right crabby/dorky Ron Silver) to handle his appeal, and the legwork in case details is spiked with contradictions and piling of reasonable doubts in its “Rashomon”-like flashbacks, though a question could be: Can reasonable doubt be so twisted as to be contrived?
You could write a hundred page polemic on Reversal of Fortune, but if you were to boil it down to one thing, the message is society people have the connections to be on top of the pyramid entitlement, and that kind of money talks so loudly one can so to speak make a bid to buy immunity.
3.20GB | 1h 51mn | 1024×552 | mkv