HTF REVIEW: "The Accused" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    The Accused

    The first scream was for help.
    The second is for justice.

    A small bar at the side of a lone road. A
    woman emerges from its doors, running towards
    the highway with tears in her eyes and clothing
    ripped. Something very horrible has happened
    here tonight.
    The Accused is the Academy-award winning
    film that finally changed cinematic rape from
    an exploitation standby to a serious issue. It
    was also the film that won Jodi Foster her first
    "Academy Award" in 1988 for "Best Actress". When
    you watch her powerful performance, you'll know
    exactly why she earned it.
    The film's story concerns Sarah Tobias (Foster),
    a hard-living independent woman who on April
    18th 1987, becomes a victim of a gang rape that
    took place inside a bar called The Mill.
    We see the agony of this rape victim as she is
    brought to a nearby hospital where we see her
    bruises and cuts while being scrutinized by the
    nurses and questioned by the police. It is that
    moment that we meet Kathryn Murphy (Kelly McGillis),
    Deputy District Attorney for Birchfield County
    who takes Sarah under her wing.
    When Sarah later learns that the rapists have
    plea-bargained their way into a lesser charge,
    she and her lawyer take a novel approach: they
    prosecute the "spectators" for encouraging the
    The film takes its time to tell the story. As
    a viewer, we watch this story slowly unfold not
    quite knowing whether to believe Sarah's story or
    not. We never see the events that happen inside
    the bar until the last 40 minutes of the film,
    during court testimony.
    Though this is not an action film, or anything
    meant to be seriously entertaining, this is a
    movie that evokes a powerful message about our
    legal system, and how easily people get coaxed
    in kidding themselves that nothing bad happened,
    and that someone was just asking for what they
    How is the transfer?
    This is the second Paramount title that I had
    the opportunity to watch in the same day. Having
    just watched Fatal Attraction which came
    out a year earlier, I am surprised how dramatically
    better The Accused looks on DVD. Most of
    the fault lies in how the former title was filmed.
    While Fatal Attraction was filmed very soft,
    The Accused comes across the screen more
    vividly. The 16X9 enhanced widescreen (1.85:1)
    transfer is very clear, crisp and with more pronounced colors.
    This picture above illustrates how the deep blue
    colors of Jodie Foster's eyes and robe are vividly
    brought out in this transfer. The picture suffers
    only slightly from hints of video noise that appear
    in the darker scenes. Realize, however, the period
    of time this film comes from. This film has never
    looked better on any format.
    Though the film is mixed in 5.1 surround, little
    use is made of it. Granted, this is not an action
    film. However, outside of the rear sounds of a
    car driving into the distance during the film's
    initial moments, the surrounds really never kick in.
    This is unfortunate. You would think that the
    scenes inside The Mill bar would make good use of
    surrounding ambience. Any ambience that was heard
    during those scenes were at indistinguishably low
    Special Features
    Paramount has kept this disc bare-boned, offering
    only the Original Theatrical Trailer. I
    can't say I don't blame Paramount for not going
    further with this DVD.
    Final Thoughts
    Before I knew that a screener was available,
    I had actually ordered myself a copy of this film.
    It certainly is not a film filled with action,
    nor a film that will receive repeated viewing.
    My interest lies in the story and the performance
    of Jodie Foster. The Accused is a powerful
    film that conveys itself brilliantly.
    Worth a purchase!
    Release Date: April 16, 2002
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Didn't Jodie win Best Supporting Actress for The Accused?

    A good film with a great performance, but very difficult to watch. I've seen it once, and that is enough for me. I do highly recommend checking this out if you have not seen it.

    Take care,


    P.S. I do love Jodie Foster, but not that buzzcut!
  4. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

    Oct 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    No, Foster won the first of her 2 Best Actress Oscars for The Accused. Good film, and a fine performance (although Glen Glose was still robbed for Dangerous Liasons that year) but a once only watch for me.
  5. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

    Dec 4, 2001
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    A very good film although I too must admit that it is a very difficult film to watch because of the subject matter. Haven't seen this one in at least a decade. I may pick this one up sometime in the future.
  6. Jefe Noche

    Jefe Noche Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 5, 2002
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    I remember (could be wrong) her winning for "Supporting Actress" as well.
  7. luke j. chung

    Oct 8, 2001
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    It was definitely Best Actress In A Lead Role. Jodie won her second Lead Actress Oscar in 1991 for "Silence Of The Lambs".[​IMG]
  8. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

    Jul 2, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Nick So
    I saw this movie at school a couple weeks ago...
    It was kinda boring, but ohwell.. as always, good review ron! [​IMG]

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