Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Staircase

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
From award-winning documentary filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade comes this real-life, gripping courtroom drama that chronicles the case of author Michael Peterson, who stood trial in 2003 for the murder of his wife, Kathleen. With unprecedented access to Peterson's lawyers, his family and others involved in the proceedings, de Lestrade offers viewers an intimate look at the judiciary process and the mystery surrounding this high-profile case.
Also, Lestrade is totally French Canadian. It doesn't add anything to this story or movie or anything, but you know how I feel about French Canadians.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, as you can probably tell I haven't been watching as many movies lately. I used to blame it on my former job when I had to be at work at 4:30am. But, now I have a normal, fabulous job where I have to be at work at a normal time, which thus means I can go to bed at a normal time, and I could watch movies before I went to bed if I wanted.

Now, maybe I haven't been watching them because I know I need to do the write up, and I already have too many to write up...Or, maybe I've been distracted by the Stanley Cup playoffs which require a great amount of emotional energy from me. Or maybe it is because I haven't been able to get movies that I am really excited to see. Whatever it is, I have no idea how much I am paying per movie a month now, I am scared to think I might be paying $8 a movie.

But, as far as the Staircase goes, I actually first got this rental when I had just started grad school--over two and a half years ago. But, I just couldn't get into it. So I sent it back. And then when I rented it in February, the same thing started happening!! The Staircase is broken into 8 episodes, and until about the 4th episode I thought I was going to send it back to Netflix without watching the whole thing. But I did, and I am glad.

And to answer the question, I have absolutely no idea how much I paid. Probably a lot.

And what did I think?
Well, like I said, I thought it was a little boring. I just could. not. get. into. it. But, I am glad I slogged through the slow and tedious beginning of the series, cause man oh man! It sure picked up speed!!!

I guess I understand why LeStrade had to make those boring first four lay the foundation so the audience understands everything else that happens. Well, I don't understand why he had to make it so boring, but, I suppose it doesn't matter.

Ok, so what did I think? Well, I think without giving away the verdict...because you maybe should watch this (especially you, Lori)...that the thing that was best about this film was how LeStrade really tried to not insert his value judgements into the documentary. He showed what was happening, and then we as an audience were able to make our own judgements about wether we think Michael Peterson killed his wife. I think, especially after looking at the internet, that we tend to always assume people who are accused of murder are pretty much always guilty. And violent crimes are always henious--so someone is guilty. But, watching LeStrade's film it gives you some sort of feeling about what the American justice system might really be like.

It was also very interesting, because as an audience we saw Michael Peterson, and frankly, that guy was a dick. BUT, just because he was an asshole doesn't mean he is guilty. So as an audience we had to sort out our personal feelings about the accused to decide if the evidence that the prosecution presented was enough to make their case that Peterson was guilty beyond a REASONABLE doubt.

Anyway, it was interesting. And after I watched the movie I found some crazy websites talking about the murder and the case and theories and all that. So, if you're not gonna watch the movie I guess you can go to them. Or not. Whatevs.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Well, because it was so so boring at the beginning I cannot give it a 10. But, it was very interesting, and well done, so it gets a 9.

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