Thursday, May 3, 2012

Appropriate Adult

In the U.K., The title term refers to the person assigned guardianship and holding the interests of a youth or mentally challenged suspect during a police interrogation. When serial killer (and learning disabled) Fred West was questioned for a series of murders in Gloucester in 1994, he was assigned a newly licensed appropriate adult and with whom he began an odd relationship and correspondence before hanging himself a year later in his prison cell. By staying as close to the case facts as possible, this film documents the relationship between West and his guardian Janet Leach, as well as the turmoil this friendship unleashed on her personal life. "Appropriate Adult" is an exacting crime drama that centers on two fine lead performances. Emily Watson, one of our most gifted and criminally underappreciated actresses, brings stark believability to her vulnerable and naive character and Dominic West of TV's "The Wire" delivers a scary portrayal as the manipulative and psychopathic West. Monica Dolan is similarly terrifying as West's husband/accomplice. After viewing the numerous and often unrealistic American TV crime dramas, "Appropriate Adult" is an authentic and often horrifying look at evil personified.