Daily News header

Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired Movie Review

By     get stories by email


The United States is a country of glaring social and economic disparities, and despite the criminal justice system's pretense of equality before the law, the meting out of penal sentences according to who you are and how much money you have, is hardly different. And the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, rather than exploring in an ethically objective manner the notorious case of that famed filmmaker who fled the US in 1977 rather than face sentencing in the drugging, rape and sodomizing of a 13 year old girl, functions as a mouthpiece to both defend and fawn over the Paris based director of Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby. This, perhaps as a prequel of sorts in a Polanski bid to seek a pardon in absentia and return to Hollywood.

Director/actress Marina Zenovich, whose body of work tends to express reverence rather than critical scrutiny of celebrity figures like David Lynch, Julian Schnabel and Bernard Tapie, approaches the case of Polanski as if a privileged life deserves special privileges withing the legal system. The ironic double entendre title of her film refers to Polanski's contrasting position in the world as a man wanted in the US for flight from persecution, and on the other hand desired as an accomplished director.


And while Zenovich's point of view displays an acceptable mitigating array of circumstances that would be permissible without question in court - including Polanski's tragic life traumas as a child victim of the Holocaust, the murder of his mother by the Nazis, and the slaughter of his pregnant wife (Sharon Tate) and unborn son by the Manson family - her presentation is so biased and one-sided as to barely qualify as a documentary rather than promo piece.

In effect, Polanski might have directed Wanted And Desired himself, as a cinematic case for the defense. We hear, most distastefully, the usual deplorable demonization of female rape victims: the sex was consensual, the girl was promiscuous (or in any case, she was not a virgin and had confirmed sex at least one other time in her life), her mother was too permissive. At the same time, Polanski himself is painted as the victim, rather than this child: the judge was biased, even vindictive and perhaps envious of Polanski's fame, and a publicity hound exploiting the director's celebrated reputation for his own 15 minutes. And, Polanski is far too distinguished to persecute by placing him in a prison among, well, criminals.

And whether by flaw or design, the only subject in the documentary who receives scrutiny is Polanski. The victim, Samantha Gailey Geimer, now a middle aged wife and mother, is portrayed in a few surface soundbites. Which renders sympathy for her own trauma or plight conveniently impossible. Wanted And Desired: a premeditated act of propaganda in the service of exoneration rather than remorse.

Thinkfilm
Unrated
2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Chef, author, world traveler Anthony Bourdain is an outspoken trailblazer with unique insights talks about his life, career and Peabody and Emmy-winning TV-series, Parts Unknown.
Kam Williams interviews Gina the Dreamer about Beyond the Lights, a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.
Marion Cotillard, who is no stranger to tackling complex characters and complicated women in movies, most notably as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, plays Sandra in Two Days, One Night. An emotionally vulnerable blue collar worker in a plant determine
Stevie Nicks, older and ever bolder turned heads with Stevie's back-to-the-future, pre-technoid selfies at an opening exhibition in the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Manhattan.
Michael Pena, who first appeared in 'To Sir, with Love' and 'End of Watch' director David Ayer talk to Kam Williams about reuniting to collaborate on Fury.
Rosamund Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics, with Prairie Miller.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site