Posts Tagged Amanda Knox

STEELE PICKS: Best Documentary Films of 2016

strong documentaries expose you to subject matter in a novel and enlightening manner. it might be a subject of which you know very little or a subject with which you’re familiar. the best documentaries make you want to read and research, discuss and debate. that’s why I’ve belonged to a documentary film group for five years. I tend to favor biographical, political, social justice and music documentaries.


directed by: Ava DuVernay
written by: Spencer Averick and Ava DuVernay

–our criminal justice systems needs serious reform. this documentary painstakingly delves into our prison system. It’s a moving, upsetting and infuriating call for change.


Oasis: Supersonic
directed by: Mat Whitecross

–while I classify myself a Blur girl, I also love Oasis. I love Britpop and alternative music.  I didn’t know all that much about how Oasis formed or how brothers Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher grew up with an abusive father. I know music was a way out for many British bands in the 90s. The film documents the band’s meteoric rise to fame and its collapse. There’s a moment on tour when Noel quits the band in Los Angeles and takes off to a female fan’s place in San Francisco. He ultimately re-joins the band and ends up writing a song about it. Being a long-term music critic this film hit all the right notes and all the right emotive spots. I laughed. I cried. I stood in the theater lobby with four strangers discussing it all.


Amanda Knox
directed by: Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn
written by: Matthew Hamachek and Brian McGinn

–going into this one I definitely had an opinion. it’s like the OJ Simpson case, how can you not? I’d read Amanda Knox’s riveting memoir and still learned quite a bit about the Italian judicial system and being locked up abroad (don’t do it) watching this documentary. Nearly a decade ago in 2007, Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested, charged and convicted of the murder of Amanda’s roommate Meredith Kercher. Remember the supposed orgy and its aftermath as well as Knox’s nickname “Foxy Knoxy.” Because of course if someone’s sexually open she *must be a murderer. Amanda serves prison time until the conviction is overturned but then there’s another trial. While the United States criminal justice system remains a mess the Italian one seems outrageous. It’s not what one expects in a European nation. There are so many flaws in the investigation and numerous questions about the process that this documentary attempts to address.


The Beatles: Eight Days a Week– the touring years
directed by: Ron Howard
written by: Mark Monroe

–it’s always cool to learn something new about music legends. while I’m familiar with the music I don’t know as much about the band’s history and specific historic moments. There’s an excellent cross-section of fans interviewed from Whoopi Goldberg to Sigourney Weaver to Eddie Izzard. It’s a sweet love letter to a band from a genuinely sincere Ron Howard. It’s not messy or scandalous or a sexy film but wholesome family fun that one expects from Ron Howard.



, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Lifetime TV Movie review: Amanda Knox– Murder on Trial in Italy

Who wasn’t riveted by the case of “Foxy Knoxy,” the American exchange student in Perugia, Italy accused of murdering her housemate? It had it all: kinky sex, an Italian boyfriend, a brutal stabbing. What we knew little about was Amanda [Hayden Panettiere] herself and how she spent her time in Italy prior to this sensational case. Is Amanda guilty or has she been framed up by her boyfriend, the police, circumstantial evidence and shoddy police work. Amanda Knox. Murder on Trial in Italy leaves everything really open-ended so the viewer is wondering if Amanda was involved in her housemate Meredith’s vile murder.

The movie considers the two months before the murder. It shows how Amanda got along with the housemate Meredith [Amanda Fernando Stevens] as well as how she met and started to spend much of her free time with Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito [Paolo Romio]. There’s one point where Amanda and Meredith fight because Meredith accuses her of not cleaning up in the apartment enough. But then at another time, Amanda confides in Meredith that she met a guy that looks like Harry Potter and they were from completely different cultures but she felt it was destiny. Once Amanda’s arrested, her mom [Marcia Gay Harden] flies in from Seattle. Marcia Gay Harden is always good in any role and this is no different. She’s strong and never takes no for an answer as Amanda’s distraught mother.

Hayden Panettiere [I Love You, Beth Cooper, Heroes] does a commendable job in making viewers completely confused as to Amanda’s innocence or guilt. It’s a serious role for her and allows her to show range in the conflicted, often detached nature of Amanda, who still remains a mystery to most Americans. As my mom said [she’s my Lifetime movie-watcher companion]: “This girl is a little strange about it all.” As Amanda, Hayden uses facial expressions and wordplay to make us wonder if Amanda was there or not while Meredith was being raped and stabbed. Of the 40 cuts, bruises and stab wounds [including the lethal severed carotid artery] found on Meredith’s body, the police say, “It’s almost like they were toying with her.” Some of the DNA didn’t get collected for weeks. The crime scene seemed corrupted and there’s much circumstantial evidence but as most Americans know, Amanda Knox is sitting in an Italian jail right now.

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy leaves viewers with many questions about Amanda’s role in her housemate’s murder, while providing insight into Amanda’s unusual behavior and nonchalant personality.

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy premieres Monday, February 21 at 9PM ET/PT on Lifetime.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: