Picks and Pans Review: New on Video
Jeremy Irons's performance is a marvelous piece of acting; he nearly turns a feckless high-society parasite into a sympathetic character. But the film is based on the controversial real case of New York City playboy Claus von Bülow, acquitted of trying to murder his heiress wife, Sunny. And director Barbet Schroeder cops out morally, legally and every other way. While Sunny (who in real life has been in a coma for 10 years) appears in flashback and in voice-over out of her comatose stale, Schroeder offers no conclusion as to what happened in the case. Irons's brilliance, and that of Ron Silver as defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, seem mere exercises, like a great orchestra playing scales.