Archive for the ‘Courtroom’ Category

Rudy Donatello is an ugly drag queen (sorry Alan Cumming, but you could have made a better effort) whose neighbour is a drug addict and the mother of a child with the Syndrome of Down (an adorable Isaac Leyva). When the neighbour doesn’t return home one night and the kid is left alone, Rudy takes care of him until Family Services is alerted. Luckily for Rudy, he just met a lawyer who’s very keen on raising the kid as well. This story takes place in 1979 however, and gay couples adopting a child is unheard of. So off to the court!

Any Day Now is an lgbt legal drama that aims to raise awareness and acceptance for the call of adoption rights for gay couples. This is a done deal in certain countries, but still causes a lot of stirs in others. In fact, there was huge upheaval in The Netherlands recently when a Turkish child was placed under the custody of two lesbians. Most Dutch didn’t care, but a lot of Turkish immigrants and Dutch of Turkish descent did.

Of course this movie is biased and shows a perfect gay couple that you couldn’t possibly forbid to raising a child. Their intentions are good and it’s noble and brave for them to choose to take care of a mentally challenged child. No doubt about it. But the movie has a bit of a good vs evil feel and that stinks. This movie most likely won’t change the ideas of those people who oppose the idea of gay adoption. Those who already support it will just feel even more frustrated about the injustice still prevalent all over the world.

This feels like a made for television movie, a bit of tearjerker, but the question is whether tv channels will show it in prime time. It’s definitely worth watching. But lgbt movies lately all have a political agenda and aren’t all that entertaining. Alan Cummings’ Marc Almond-like musical intermezzos do not really help either. But, again, it’s worth watching.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2066176

Het Vonnis – ***

Posted: October 13, 2013 in 2013, Courtroom, Drama, Flanders, XXX

I survived watching the first Flemish courtroom drama! Better even, I liked it! A lot.

I liked it because of the way the story allows the viewer to think along. A guy loses his wife and child in a tragical event. When the murderer of his wife gets released from prison because of a breach of legal procedure, he decides to tackle the justice system with a dramatic act of revenge. It’s very easy to support the feeling of revenge, but it’s also very difficult to justify the right to take revenge. This movies manages to leave it up to the audience what they think is right or wrong.

I liked it because of the small details. Especially the use of real journalists and real news anchors and tv presenters. It felt very familiar and even added humor to the drama.

I liked it because of the pace, the editing and the camera work. This movie needs long shots and that can be challenging, but it works well here. Jan Verheyen won a Best Directing award in Montreal for this movie, which is well deserved. But it’s the team he worked with this time that made the real difference.

But I liked it most of all because of the acting. It’s great to see Johan Leysen in a positive role for a change. He’s such an underrated talent. He’s one of the few people who can make standard Dutch sound beautiful and impeccable. So he’s the perfect man to listen to during the pretty long closing plea. Koen De Bouw is great too. He has a very subdued way of dealing with his emotions naturally. In general, all of the characters were performed well. Which is rare.

Yep. Go watch it if you can. If it’s available wherever you live. I saw it in Brussels with French subtitles, that translate ‘Vlaming’ into ‘Belge’. Ridiculous of course. Just like some parts in our Justice System. But at least there are subtitles.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2691722

A lawyer who’s been defending petty criminals for his entire career decides to make a move and work with a colleague who can bring in the big business. But the colleague didn’t recruit him for his skills, but for his ‘looks’. He’s set up to replace a criminal in prison for a large sum of money. Contrary to any logic he accepts the deal!

If it wasn’t for the amazing Roschdy Zem, it would be a complete waste of movie material. Terrible movie. But Roschdy is even awesome here.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179836/