Friday, February 11, 2011

Perhaps Heeding Meredith Family Pleas And Our Open Letter Lifetime Claim Movie Now Less Shrill

Posted by Peter Quennell

If we are reading this somewhat cagey explanation by Lifetime executive producer Craig Piligian correctly, the scenes with Meredith have almost disappeared.

Lifetime is set to premiere the movie on February 21, but the channel has slightly altered their marketing in response to criticism from both Knox’s lawyers and the family of victim Meredith Kercher.

The channel recently removed the original teaser-trailer for the movie, which stars Hayden Panettiere as Knox, from its website and YouTube, and today replaced it with a new, slightly edited version.

The new promo no longer includes scenes depicting Kercher being assaulted, which caused a stir in the U.K., where she is from, and which her father called “absolutely horrific.”

If this is true then we have to thank you, Lifetime, for a kind gesture that matters a great deal to Meredith’s family and her many supporters worldwide.

Mr Piligian says the movie will air in the US starting 21 February and the UK and some other markets, but no longer in Italy.

Insiders also confirm that Amanda Knox will not air in Italy due to legal reasons, because Knox’s case is ongoing. Knox’s lawyers had sent a letter to Lifetime, asking the network to pull the clips down, arguing that the movie’s depictions might jeopardize her chance of a fair trial. A Lifetime spokesman confirmed that the network received the letter, but beyond that, they have not commented on the controversy.

We also presume that Lifetime had no wish to pin a calunnia target on their own backs,  as the Italian police and investigators and prosecutors may have quietly warned them. 

The producers and cast continue to make some rather loopy claims about how controversial the evidence actually is.

“This is a factual drama and we feel we did a very fair and balanced telling of the story, crafting a script from court records and other public documents,” executive producer Craig Piligian tells TV Guide Magazine.

“At the end of the movie people will be wondering whether she really did or didn’t do the things she’s accused of,” he says. “We weren’t leaning one way or another, but took a very even, fact-based approach, which ultimately allows the viewers to make their own decision.”

Amanda Knox is simply accused? Actually she already was unanimously convicted. The Supreme Court of Cassation has already accepted that all three were party to the attack.

Certainly the conviction is not final until Cassation confirms it (probably by late summer 2012) but that existing Cassation position really means it is all but game over. And Capanne Prison continues of course to be Amanda Knox’s home.

But the auspices behind the movie say they’ve made sure not to take sides in the debate over Knox’s guilt or innocence… Piligian said he screened the movie internally to his staff, and even in-house there’s no consensus on whether or not Knox was involved in the crimes. “Everyone’s divided, and the viewing public will likely be divided as well… That’s what makes this such a great story.”

No consensus? Try again. Read the voluminous evidence rather than simply watching a hedging semi-fictional film

We are finding that maybe 98 out of every 100 bright people who read the Massei report and the Micheli summaries do not have the slightest difficulty seeing that the case has been made and the first verdict a fair one.

We will watch the Lifetime movie for sure on 21 February.

We will be curious to see if Lifetime somehow depicts what a sad drug-driven slide into dependency and desperation the seemingly not-quite-right Amanda Knox appeared to be embarked on.

What a deservedly friendless, obsessive and bizarre person the heavy drug user Raffaele Sollecito seemed to be, despite all his deeply concerned father’s best efforts, in real life.

And what an exceptional fast-track student with an amazing future already mapped out the real victim, Meredith, really was.  We believe Lifetime may have picked up some strong vibes of that.


Yay! Lifetime has shown Meredith the respect she deserves by editing false and scandalous scenes. Thank you, Lifetime.

Posted by Hopeful on 02/11/11 at 06:42 PM | #

Peter, thanks. You do cover the ground.

And it’s good to read a claim made here of objectivity without taking it for gospel truth.  The more objective, the less offense.

My impression from the trailer is that Hayden Panettiere has an emotional range that pretty well covers the spectrum.

Myself, I don’t blame her for taking delight in landing the role. Actors play roles. I never looked to Marlon Brando for philosophy or Marilyn Monroe for her take on politics—JFK notwithstanding.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/11/11 at 08:14 PM | #

Executive Producer Craig Piligian sounds like a sleazy politician trying to play both sides of the fence. He knows exactly what he is doing. He is not in it to depict “guilt or innocence”, he is in it to make as much money off of this tragedy as possible and at the same time receive the least amount of flack from the public. I just hope the half truths and lies which made-for-TV projects like this are notorious for, don’t become accepted fact for the multitude of people who are going to watch this movie without the benefit of first reading all or at least part of the Massei report.

Posted by Kazwell on 02/12/11 at 02:57 AM | #

The new promo no longer includes scenes depicting Kercher being assaulted, which caused a stir in the U.K., where she is from, and which her father called “absolutely horrific.”

what planet are these people on??? her father called “absolutely horrific’?????? are they serious? I did not know Meredith and i found myself speechless at the obviously cynical and gratuitous nature of just the photos…i can only imagine that the trailer with sound effects and action would have been nauseating…these people leave me stunned. there is so much absolute trash in hollywood that there is little surprise that tv is on the downward slope, yet the nature of this film makes the awful reality shows look like high art….throwing up my hands in disgust…rant over.

Posted by mojo on 02/12/11 at 10:04 AM | #

“...That’s what makes this such a good story.”

There you have there reason for the whole enterprise going forward. To them it’s just a story, not someone’s real life tragedy.

Posted by mimi on 02/17/11 at 03:23 AM | #
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