Reversal of Fortune (1990)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, Mystery


Reversal of Fortune (1990) Poster

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.

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7.3/10
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  • Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • Glenn Close in Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune (1990)

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3 February 2013 | hschiller-229-850750
10
| A Unique, Deep, Dark, Psychological, and Suspenseful Film
I love this film. Every shot feels effortlessly dense. In every shot, one can see texture, whether it is in the landscape of a bedroom or a hotel room, or the structure of a man or woman's face. The cinematography is dark and gloomy. The story, as you likely know, as you have either seen the film, or have read the IMDb summary, is about Claus von Bulow, who has been accused of attempting to murder his wife twice, both times sending her into a coma, the first coma which lasts only a few hours, the second which lasted until 2008 and turned Sunny Bulow into a vegetable. The story is, as all good stories are, so multilayered that it seems to evolve as time goes along. Unlike most films made nowadays, and indeed most stories told in history, it is not linear and obvious. The story threatens to go in any direction at any time. All of the characters seem human, balancing on the line of their own soul and being, reaching out toward other people or retracting into themselves. The Main characters are Claus Von Bulow, Sunny Bulow, and Alan Dershowitz. They are each played by great actors. The film is expertly directed and represents each of these characters separate lives. The viewer sees each character as sympathetic but realizes at certain points throughout the film that the characters may have reached a turning point and made a bad choice or perverted their hearts goodness and done wrong towards another. The film has a lot of subtext. Though the characters do come out and state what they are thinking at various points, for the most part the film shows, not tells. Although all the actors do good jobs in this film, the crown must be placed on the head of Jeremy Irons, one of the greatest actors in history. Irons is often mocked for being very dense and inanimated, I personally think this is because most film watchers are used to actors who are less subtle and less skilled than Irons. His subtlety is extraordinary. This performance may be the most subtle in film history. The performance is mysterious and dark, unexpressibly creepy, but also sympathetic. At one point int he film(don't worry, this isn't a spoiler),Claus von Bulow leans slightly forward in a car, with his head almost completely in shadow and responds to Alan Dershowitz claim "You are a strange man," with the words "You have no idea." Irons is just brilliant. His performance must be seen. The film as a whole explores many theme, favoring emotion and thematic depth over bare bones plot. One of the more interesting themes is the idea that every moment is in the now, and so every human being is freshly born every minute and so they must be forgiven for wrong things they have done in the past. Another theme is the idea that no one truly knows another person, that all people have secrets, hidden characteristics and emotions that are hidden even to themselves as well as to other people. This is the theme I fell that this patient film expresses best. It is well paced and allows you to feel every scene before moving on to the next. The film also explores the importance of humor and the need for humor in humanity. This provides great unexpected moments throughout the film. This is one of my favorite films in history. It is so patient in the camera-work and performances. It feels like more than an interpretation. It feels like a reality or at least a possibility. This is a rare achievement. It is an uncategorizable experience, a great work of art, and a film of astonishing depth. It is one of the few that reaches the true depth of the soul. it does not only confirm something that other films have told us. It twists and turns, until the viewer and the film and the characters are all one. An excellent film.

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