Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglourious Basterds) star in this fictionalized version of the notorious Amanda Knox murder case from ever-adventurous director Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, In This World, 24 Hour Party People).
The Face Of An Angel
In 2007, a twenty-one-year-old British student named Meredith Kercher was brutally murdered in Perugia, Italy. Suspicions turned almost immediately to her American flatmate, Amanda Knox. The ensuing arrests, trial, and convictions — which involved Knox's Italian boyfriend, a bar owner, and a young drifter originally from Ivory Coast — made for a major international story and occupied immense tabloid space. Michael Winterbottom has used the famous case, changing all the names in the process, as the jumping-off point for his fictionalization of events in The Face of an Angel.
Winterbottom tells this tale from the perspective of a filmmaker who wants to make a movie based on a book about the murder. Thomas (Daniel Brühl) provides an outsider's point of view as he enters the scene and begins to interview people wrapped up in the case, including the American journalist who wrote the book (Kate Beckinsale), and locals who knew the victim and her suspected killer. The film gains richness and complexity as Winterbottom ties together the strands in the investigation, delving into Thomas's own emotional needs while also touching on various father-daughter relationships that flow beneath the surface. As his research continues, Thomas faces a number of key questions about the nature of filmmaking, whilst also trying to find inspiration, like Dante, in his own muse.
With Thomas acting as his alter-ego, Winterbottom explores, with his singular approach, ideas of truth, objectivity, and the way narratives are constructed. His ever-active mind moves effortlessly among the many competing stories and emotions that comprise The Face of an Angel.