Monday, 28 January 2013

Scott Turow's Innocent: TV movie review

Scott Turow's Innocent is one of those titles, like Agatha Christie's Marple, which causes me instinctively to be wary. It's easy to get the impression that the makers of the show are trading too heavily on the name of the author who produced the original, rather than being confident that it will stand on its own two feet as quality entertainment. Having said that, I wouldn't say no if someone wanted to make Martin Edwards' All the Lonely People, or indeed anything else I've written, so perhaps I shouldn't be too critical!

Anyway, Innocent is a 2011 movie that is very clearly aimed at a TV audience, and doesn't have the same ambitions as, say, the film that was made of Turow's first and quite brilliant novel featuring Rusty Sabich, Presumed Innocent. I remember being so gripped when I read that book that I stayed up until the middle of the night to finish it. I don't think I've been more impressed by any other legal thriller. Turow knows the American legal profession inside out, and is a very clever plotter. But he can also write extremely well, and that's the real secret of his enormous success.

I very much enjoyed Turow's second book, which focused on Sandy Stern, Rusty's defence lawyer, but for some reason I've not felt tempted to read his later books. Not sure why. However, this belated sequel to Presumed Innocent is a pretty good story, which certainly kept me entertained. Rusty is charged with murdering his wife, and has behaved badly enough for there to be plenty of incriminating evidence.

Bill Pullman plays Rusty, and Marcia Gay Harden, once an Oscar winner, the doomed Mrs Sabich. Mariana Klaveno is the glamorous aide who seduces Rusty, and then gets involved with his son, making her a possible alternative suspect in the case. All in all, a competent tv movie, lacking in magic, perhaps, but offering very watchable if slightly familiar viewing fare.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for this candid and thoughtful review. I'm glad you enjoyed the film even if it wasn't magical (I like your use of that term). All too often a book doesn't translate well at all to the pictures...

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Margot!