Take this The Unforgivable Quiz to find out which character are you. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most accurate among the other quizzes.
I know what unrepented crimes I’ve committed to earning Netflix’s “The Unforgivable,” but you have a chance to be repentant and prevent it. This is three films in one, each getting progressively worse. We begin with a story of remorse, then move on to a brief legal drama before devolving into a revolting kidnapping and assault thriller. It’s based on a TV show that I’ve never seen, which may explain how crammed this is.
Sandra Bullock has a reason to be in it—also she’s the producer—but great veterans like Vincent D’Onofrio, W. Earl Brown, and Viola Davis don’t. Davis’ parts, in particular, are problematic; she had a throwaway line that I’m sure the filmmakers didn’t intend for me to take seriously. But it’s such a strange, out-of-place remark that it affected my interpretation. Also, you must try to play The Unforgivable quiz.
The Unforgivable Quiz
The deletion of the statement would not have made the film any better. However, if the filmmakers had questioned its significance, it could have enhanced the work. Here’s the situation: Ruth Slater (Bullock) escapes from prison and travels to the home of Liz and John Ingram (Davis and D’Onofrio, respectively). It’s in a remote area outside of Seattle, in the middle of nowhere. Slater used to live at this house. In fact, her crime was done right here in this house. The newspapers dubbed it “The Murder House,” which neither member of the married pair was aware of. This is how “The Amityville Horror” got its name! But I’m digressing. Slater was convicted of murdering a cop and sentenced to 20 years in prison. She’s now looking for Katie, the sibling she left behind while detained.
Jim takes this total stranger, who appears to have been riding the rails in a Depression-era film, into his home. Liz’s expression says it all: “Did you just welcome this suspicious-looking White woman into my house?” Slater lies about her goals, but when she discovers Jim is a lawyer, she tells him she’s attempting to locate Katie legitimately. As they talk, Jim drives her back to the bus terminal. Meanwhile, Liz conducts her own study, and when Jim returns home, he receives the Viola Davis lecture that has become her trademark. It contains the statement I’ve been debating: Liz tells her curiously sympathetic husband, “She killed someone in cold blood.” “If it had been any of your Black boys who were in the system, they would have died.”
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Liz is correct, but why is this brought up here? “The Unforgivable” continues giving the notion that we should sympathize with Slater, a woman who served her time, but it can’t help but trip over references to her privilege and make us apathetic. She even gets out of jail early for good behavior, which sets up the revenge plotline. For most of the film, we don’t understand why Slater feels compelled to track down the sister, who may have been too young to remember her at all. During the legal drama sequences, Katie’s guardians (Richard Thomas and Linda Emond) make this legitimate point. What use would it serve? She merely appears to be causing a commotion. Katie (Aisling Franciosi) is already under a lot of pressure. We watch her blackout and get into a huge car accident in the first scene.
In order to create mystery-based suspense, director Nora Fingscheidt and writers Peter Craig, Hillary Seitz, and Courtenay Miles keep Slater’s reasons for reconciling with Katie hidden from you. To do this, they employ one of my pet peeves: repeated flashback clips that only reveal fragments of the sheriff’s murder. They’re shot in that cliched soft-focus, then edited with the brief flashes that always imply that what we think happened didn’t. It’s the same shots over and over again here as if the flashback budget was $1.39. I was ready to scream with her by the sixth time I watched a screaming small child hiding her face in a disembodied shoulder.