Picks and Pans Review: Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald
Everyone else has had their opportunity, so why not? Here are the events leading up to the JFK shooting, from the point of view of the assassin's wife. It's a skittish, highly subjective account, starring British actress Helena Bonham Carter as Marina Oswald Porter.
The best scenes are set in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the '60s, as Marina meets and is awkwardly wooed by an odd American defector working at a Minsk radio and TV factory. As soon as they move to Texas, his conduct toward her becomes increasingly volatile and angry. Also, she keeps finding him in front of their Fort Worth house, sitting in nondescript sedans, having heated arguments with men in dark suits, thin ties and shades.
The problem is this film adds nothing to our understanding of Oswald. Was he a double agent? A triple agent? In the end, all we learn is that he was as obdurate a puzzle to his wife as he has been to the rest of us.
Frank Whaley (Career Opportunities) presents a callow portrait of Oswald. Bonham Carter, on the other hand, gives a soulful performance as Marina, expertly simulating an Eastern European accent. Distracting, however, is the fact that Bonham Carter, with that tucked-up '60s pageboy hairdo, looks spookily like Sandra Bernhard.
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