13 March 2007 | moonspinner55
Heartbreaking true story anchored by fine O'Neal performance
TV-drama based on Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek's memoir about her years in incarceration after being convicted of killing her husband's ex-wife. Bembenek, a small-town rabble rouser, sometime-model and ex-cop, clearly gets the filmmakers' sympathy here, and the piece is most assuredly one-sided; however, the mind-boggling legal injustices done to her are incredible, and the leading role is carried off almost without a hitch by a very forceful Tatum O'Neal. After a strenuous opening, which is framed in flashback for no apparent reason, both the direction and O'Neal's performance improve, and the supporting players are excellent throughout. Not a compact telefilm (it runs 4 hours with commercials), but a consistently interesting one. Tatum is sympathetic, hard-headed, feisty and moving; the look on her face at the end seems to make all the legal hell almost irrelevant.