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The Accused

3

Brutal gang rape aside, this 1988 legal drama is an old fashioned Hollywood social conscience picture. Jodie Foster excels as Sarah Tobias, a white trash alcoholic whose lewd mouth and cheap wardrobe leads the defence to infer, none too subtly, that she was "asking for it". Trouble is, her own lawyer (Kelly McGillis) seems to think much the same thing...

Verdict:

A well-acted, solidly assembled tub-thumper that juggles hot-potato themes with passion and intelligence. The moral outrage, aimed as much at the judicial system as the rapists, is raw, while the shifting, warming relationship between the female leads is neatly shown. It's the rape scene that troubles: necessarily graphic to portray the horror or dangerously exploitative? It's a tough call.

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