Friday, July 8, 2011

A Cry in the Casey Anthony

A mother, baby daughter dead under mysterious circumstances, is pilloried by the public and press. "Of course she did it, just look at her. Her story makes no sense, her emotions are off." Casey Anthony? No, I couldn't give a shit about her or her case. Thousands of injustices are perpetrated every year in our judicial system and more innocents than that are victimized. Is it because she's white trash and the salivating public can feel superior to her wanton ways? Again, I don't give a shit.

It's ironic that we sat down last night to watch A Cry in the Dark, the 1988 Meryl Streep vehicle, made timeless by Elaine Benes' "Maybe the dingo ate your baby" line in Seinfeld. Robbie wanted to catch up on courtroom classics and this was one of them, and one of the few I've never seen.

Director Fred Schepisi does wonders weaving the mass reaction to Lindy and Michael Chamberlain's possible murdering of their baby girl Azaria. This true Australian crime story came to a head just months before the movie's release. It's both gripping and off-putting, much in the way that the main characters are. As parents they are a messed up pair of religious zealots and weirdos. Streep is top-notch, Sam Neill is too, and I learned that Ozzies of both sexes were very much into tube socks in the early '80's. This, more than anything, is what I'll take away from the movie.

The DVD we got from Netflix was cracked straight across from center to edge. I assumed it wouldn't play at all, yet it did, for over an hour. Then it stopped. We were left in limbo yesterday, not knowing the truth, the courtroom scene about to begin as the film froze. Now, we'll have to wait for another copy to see how it all played out, whether the parents were guilty or not. The verdict is still out, the result of a faulty piece of media.

How's that for symbolic resonance?

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