Miranda’s Victim Image

Miranda’s Victim

By Terry Sherwood | October 5, 2023

Then Miranda’s Victim flashes forward a few years. Trish is now married with a child. She discovers the news that the United States Supreme Court overturned Miranda’s verdict since his confession was made without an attorney present. This puts Trish’s world into a tailspin, as she must relive the events both in court and at home as she tells her husband the terrible truth. In the resulting retrial, a determined prosecutor, Lawrence Turoff (Luke Wilson), seeks to hold Miranda accountable, notwithstanding a vigorous defense from Miranda’s attorney, John Flynn (Ryan Phillippe). What follows is a legal proceeding that will forever change a nation’s justice system and the world.

Danner and Stiles (working from a story by George Kolber, Richard Lasser, and Stiles) take the complex, controversial subject of sexual crime head-on. The multiple characters, viewpoints, and events are brought to life in a stunningly direct, visceral fashion. This narrative is not the same as the I Spit On Your Grave series or those that followed in its wake to form rape/revenge or torture porn gene. This drama lends itself to more to the look and the gut impact of Jonathon Kaplan’s The Accused. The film moves swiftly through the events, taking time to give each moment clarity with a wonderful ensemble of actors. Highlights include Donald Sutherland as a Supreme Court Judge and Breslin’s turn from a nervous teen to an assertive adult.

“…brought to life in a stunningly direct, visceral fashion.”

The work never sensationalizes the events nor mythologizes the facts of the heinous crime against a person walking home from work after a bus ride. Through each revelation, Trish and Miranda become caught up in the whirlpool of events that change their lives, bring about redemption, and destroy a myth. The movie takes the point of view that the male is not only the villain but also the inept preserver of the system that caused the crime. The attitudes pervade the dialogue and characters, with denial, humiliating statements, and general malaise that you will never get anywhere pursuing this. Save for the sympathetic detective who does the victim.

Miranda’s Victim puts into perspective what victims of a sexual attack go through in a non-varnished way. The battles victims face may not be in the headlines, but are still being fought. This feature shows the strides made and the ways in which things are still the same. Subtle acting and production design drive home the devastating fact that the right to remain silent is not with the victims, and it should’ve never been that way.

Miranda's Victim (2023)

Directed: Michelle Danner

Written: J. Craig Stiles

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Sebastian Quinn, Emily VanCamp, Ryan Phillipe, Donald Sutherland, Andy Garcia, Luke Wilson, Mireille Enos, Taryn Manning, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Miranda's Victim  Image

"…the right to remain silent is not with the victims, and it should've never been that way."

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