Jodie Foster, victim of a gang rape, stumbles out of a bar called The Mill. Immediately before she appears, a young man also comes running out, and phones the police. Kelly McGillis is the prosecuting attorney on the case. She arranges a plea bargain with the assailants, which enrages Foster. McGillis then agrees to prosecute the men who stood by, watched, and did nothing. That young man at the beginning of the film will obviously have a crucial role to play.
The film is anchored b… strong performances, especially by the two leads, and is worth re-discovering also for the controversy that it stirs. Though it definitely sides with Foster (though still has the courage to make her far from saintly), the actual rape is not seen through her eyes, but through the eyes of the one sympathetic male witness, thus shifting the narrative away from her. Horror fans might also want to check the film out, as it plays a central role in Carol Clover’s examination of the rape-revenge movie in Men, Women & Chain Saws, and she compares The Accused at some length to I Spit On Your Grave.
The music is given a stunning mix. In fact, it is arguably too stunning, threatening to overwhelm everything else. This is easily one of the loudest music tracks I’ve encountered in a while. There is good use of the left and right speakers for the sound effects (though the separation could be wider), and the effects also barely register in the rear speakers (but the music sure does).
The widescreen picture is very solid. The night scenes, in particular, look good, with solid blacks and strong contrasts. The image is sharp, and the tones overall are strong, even if the skin tones sometimes are a bit pale.
For such a polemical film, the extras are deeply disappointing: a trailer.
In many ways a film to examine rather than enjoy, but certainly one to get conversations started. Too bad the disc itself is so bare-bones.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer