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Un coupable idéal AKA Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

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joachimt
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Un coupable idéal AKA Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

#1

Post by joachimt » April 16th, 2017, 7:22 pm

Film of the Week #172: Un coupable idéal AKA Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

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Summary:
On May 7, 2000, in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn in Jacksonville, Florida, 65-year-old Mary Ann Stephens is shot in the head before her husband's very eyes. Ninety minutes later, 15-year-old Brenton Butler is arrested. Everything is against him: he is formally identified by the only eye-witness, Mr Stephens, and he signs a confession. For the investigators and the media who cover the story, it is just another messed-up youth, just another wasted life. But when the case for the defense comes into the hands of Patrick McGuinness, the story ceases to be quite so ordinary. The boy proclaims his innocence. He has bruises on his face and thorax. He tells that the detectives beat him up and forced a confession out of him. And the one who hit the hardest is a certain Glover, son of Nat Glover, Sheriff of Jacksonville. Everyone - police, media and public opinion - is ready to sentence Brenton Butler in advance, but Patrick McGuinness begins a battle to restore his client's rights and to point an accusing finger at those he considers to be the real culprits: detectives Williams, Glover and Darnell.

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#243 on 500<400, with 263 checks.
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#243 (+455, #698) Un coupable idéal (2001, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade) [Murder on a Sunday Morning] - Points: 402.41 Votes: 9 Checks: 240 (IMDb)
9 votersShow
AdamH (#109)
beeswax (unranked)
EssexMutant (unranked)
Gregmnewman (unranked)
jeroeno (#59)
kisbye (#23)
ormazd (unranked)
russa03 (#69)
scoobyjay (#32)
Last edited by joachimt on April 30th, 2017, 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cocoa
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#2

Post by Cocoa » April 17th, 2017, 9:37 pm

I thought the film was alright, but nothing special. As a law student, nothing in the film shocked me, while the film wasn't directed or edited in any way that memorized me. The prosecutor wasn't that great of a trial lawyer. So monotone and looking at her notes (breaking eye contact with the jury) while giving her opening statements -_- The defense were better at their jobs in this case. 7/10

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#3

Post by joachimt » April 26th, 2017, 8:10 pm

Still quite a high rating for one of the lowest raters of this forum. ;)

I just watched it today. I agree with you that there's nothing special here. It's an interesting case, so the trial and research of the defense keeps me interested till the end, but that's just because of the story and not because the filmmakers did anything worthwhile.
They didn't fuck up either though. 6/10
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#4

Post by AdamH » July 19th, 2020, 11:12 am

Another recent re-watch which will be in my list for 2020 (the documentary only just missed out in the overall 2019 list by a few places).

I definitely agree that the filmmakers didn't do much with the documentary and the production even felt pretty weak to me. It is, however, a very interesting legal case (particularly in light of recent events) and I greatly enjoyed watching the detectives squirm in trying to answer questions from the defence and seeing how badly they handled the cased in general. I often enjoy these types of documentaries and I like seeing how the case unfolds and I enjoyed the point of view from the defence.

Also,
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I found it extremely worrying to think that if the defendant had not had a good defence team, he could have ended up being found guilty.

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