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An American Crime

by

Jeff Nelson

Every aspect of this film is creative and uncomfortable.

An American Crime
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There are an uncountable number of crimes that sweep through the United States every year. Some are minor and some are bad. Then there are the unthinkably terrible crimes that are almost unbearable to watch. This is one of those crimes.

Based on a true story from 1965, two daughters of traveling carnival workers are forced to stay at the home of a single mother. Her name is Gertrude Baniszewski and she already has seven children. Gertrude is cracking under pressure from her children and money. This leads her into abusing her children. The story is shocking and disturbing on every level. The script is jaw-droppingly terrific. The writers are able to involve the viewer and make them uncomfortable. An American Crimeaccomplishes what it needs and more.

Ellen Page, Catherine Keener, James Franco, and Scout Taylor-Compton are all excellent. Ellen Page puts on another brilliant, at times too realistic, performance. Catherine Keener is a near perfect actress. She makes the audience hate her character with a passion. Short appearances by James Franco and Scout Taylor-Compton are nice surprises and they play their roles very well.

Visuals are very important to this film. The way actions portray themselves are critical. Every scene is shot perfectly and captures the uneasy and unsafe feel of the film. This movie is gritty and gives one a claustrophobic feeling.

An American Crime is an eye-poppingly fantastic film. Every aspect of this film is creative and uncomfortable. This movie is not for everyone because of the extreme child abuse. This is one of the deepest and memorable movies I have seen in recent years. An American Crime is recommended to everybody who has the stomach to watch it.

My Rating = Four and One Half  Stars

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