We always assume that Lizzie Borden was guilty of the axe murders of her father and stepmother.
“Lizzie,” Directed by Craig Macneill. 105 minutes
Chloe Sevigny produced this film and carries almost every scene as the central character. She does a fine job of acting, but Kristen Stewart deserves tremendous credit not only for a fine acting job but also because she keeps stretching her capabilities by taking on more and more diverse roles. In this one, the vivacious star of all those “Twilight” movies plays a mousy little immigrant housekeeper.
The real Lizzie Borden was never convicted of all that whacking, but the literary Lizzie, it seems, will forever be guilty until proven innocent. Recently, she’s also become a feminist trailblazer. She wouldn’t have acted out so murderously, we are given to understand in the movie, if she hadn’t been repressed in the 1890’s. I think this movie makes that point very well through the drama itself, through the tension we in the audience feel on Lizzie’s behalf, and decidedly not because of sermonizing.
After the movie, you might want to decide about Lizzie’s culpability and motivations on your own. Wikipedia has a good treatment. You might also want to check out the 1975 made-for-TV version starring another very good and versatile actress named Elizabeth Montgomery. It’s free on YouTube. It’s also very good.
We liked the movie. It had a lot of tension and, all the way through, seemed very honest. Also, there were three union logos in the last frame.