Watch Reversal of Fortune
- 1 hr 51 min
Reversal of Fortune is a multi-layered legal drama from 1990 that delves into the unusual case of Claus von BÃ¼low, a British socialite accused of attempting to murder his wealthy American wife. Directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, and Ron Silver, the film is based on the book of the same name by Alan Dershowitz, one of von BÃ¼low's defense lawyers during his two high-profile trials.
The film opens with von BÃ¼low (Jeremy Irons) lying unconscious on the floor of his lavish mansion in Rhode Island. Doctors inform Sunny von BÃ¼low's (Close) family that she is in a coma and may never regain consciousness. Claus is accused of withholding medical attention and administering an overdose of insulin, an act intended to kill his wife.
As the case unfolds, it becomes clear that Claus is an intelligent and sophisticated man who is disliked by many due to his cold and aloof personality. Initially, he does not seem to be bothered by the accusations against him, but hires Dershowitz (Silver) to defend him in court.
The story unravels through a series of flashbacks that reveal the rocky and tumultuous relationship between Claus and his wife, Sunny. It is portrayed that Claus was bored with his routine life and marital problems led him to marry Sunny, a wealthy heiress with a drinking problem. Sunny's children were critical of their mother's decision to marry Claus, and they hated him from the start.
At the trial, defense attorney Alan Dershowitz appears confident in his ability to prove Claus's innocence. Despite the wealth and resources possessed by the von BÃ¼lows, Dershowitz and his team struggle to gather evidence in their favor. However, they use the knowledge of medical professionals to examine the evidence and determine that the insulin overdose could have been accidental.
As the trial proceeds, Dershowitz's faith in his client begins to dwindle. While they have initially collaborated on the case, Dershowitz soon realizes that Claus has kept important information from him that could prove his innocence.
Reversal of Fortune's strength lies in the masterful performances it showcases. Jeremy Irons excels in his portrayal of Claus von BÃ¼low, who is a man who, despite being cruel and manipulative, evokes a sense of empathy from viewers. Glenn Close is painfully convincing as Sunny von BÃ¼low, effectively conveying her character's frustration, despair, and self-loathing. Ron Silver delivers a compelling performance as Dershowitz, managing to maintain stoicism while showcasing the character's struggle to find the truth.
The film does a remarkable job of blending dramatic storytelling with legal investigation, delving into the scientific and medical evidence presented at the trial. The screenplay by Nicholas Kazan is intricately woven, presenting a complex case in a manner that is both engaging and intellectually stimulating.
The title 'Reversal of Fortune' reflects the change in the situation. In this case, it refers to Claus' situation in the aftermath of the trial. The movie's purpose is not to establish whether Claus is guilty of his wife's attempted murder but to present both sides of the argument and allow the viewers to come to their own conclusions.
Overall, Reversal of Fortune is a gripping and thought-provoking legal drama that has rightfully gained recognition as a classic of its genre. It manages to be both a character study and a fascinating courtroom drama, with standout performances from the cast and a sound script that ensures that the film remains engaging from start to finish.
Reversal of Fortune is a 1990 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 93.