Wednesday, September 3, 2008
An American Crime
Just watched 'An American Crime'- which, in my opinion, is a companion piece to
'The Girl Next Door' . It is more of an honest telling of the true crime of Sylvia Likens.
You can read all about the crime at the previous link. Suffice it to say, I feel this movie is a much better made film, with better acting ALL the way around. In 'The Girl Next Door', much was added and fabricated (because the source material was from a book "inspired by true events"). This movie is a retelling of the actual court documents and testimonies of what actually happened way back in 1965. I felt a bit more sympathetic to the situation of the lousy creep of a caretaker (Gertrude Baniszewski). I felt more fault towards Sylvia's parents, who left their children with a woman they basically knew nothing about.
Ellen Page was great (as usual) as Sylvia- she had a real feeling for the role, and it is obvious how talented she is. Catherine Keener played Gertrude quite convincingly. I felt her performance (which was Emmy nominated for the role) was top notch and loads better than the awful job done by the actress playing the same role in the other film.
I won't elaborate on the plot except to say it involves the seriously disturbing child abuse, torture, and ultimate death of Sylvia Likens back in October 1965 in Indianapolis, IN.
The poor girl was beaten, stomped on, burned with cigarettes, and made to live in the dank filthy basement with very little food and water. She was made to insert a Coke bottle into her vagina, and in one of the most shocking discoveries -she had the words 'i am a prostitute and proud of it' carved into her stomach. She died of a brain hemorrhage, shock, and malnutrition.
See this movie - that's all I have left to say.