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Toronto 2013: Do we need a West Memphis Three drama even if it's good?

Devil’s Knot, a docudrama about the tangled and still-loaded West Memphis Three case, directed by Atom Egoyan, is for the most part a tense and absorbing movie. It’s the intelligent, detail-jammed, well-executed version of what we used to call “a TV movie” — a phrase you can’t really use anymore, since it once connoted a certain second-rate, connect-the-dots Madame Tussauds biopic quality that’s become irrelevant in the age of HBO. (There was never a “TV movie” like Behind the Candelabra or Recount.) Yet that term also summoned up the basic, childlike voyeuristic appeal of seeing interesting actors inhabit the roles of tabloid figures — celebrities, criminals, or both — who get famous for unspeakable behavior. Be honest: Wouldn’t you like to see a down-and-dirty TV movie about the Casey Anthony case? (Actually, there was one, but it was awful. I say: Cast Emily Blunt now!) And the West Memphis Three case, though it’s been dealt with in the media for years as — rightly — a dead-serious episode of egregious injustice, remains, at its dark heart, a river of homicidal mystery boiling with undertows of evil. READ FULL STORY

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