Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited seats. Followed by a deep dive discussion brought to you by your host. Kris Chaney here is REEL Film Reviewed.
Welcome back everyone. This episode, REEL Film Reviewed The Unforgivable, the new Sandra Bullock flick that released on Netflix last month, let’s get into the spoiler free review. A woman recently released from prison after serving 20 years for a violent crime returns to a community that refuses to forgive her past.
This is Sandra like we’ve never seen her. I know there are a lot of films that we can say that about because while she is always that lovable person, her versatility on screen is flawless. It is difficult not to love Sandra Bullock, no matter what role she plays. This is the first film that pushed that envelope of her being a truly bad.
Maybe she had a reason for committing the crime, but she certainly isn’t giving. This film highlights the reality, many prisoners feel when they’re released from prison, they often have to return to the place and community. They committed their crimes, making it much more difficult to return to any kind of a normal life.
Especially when living in a small town like this, the story itself was deep, emotional, and captivating at some points, but the best part is. It is not delivered all at once, but more delivered in crumbs, leaving us yearning to know more about the day that is referenced so much throughout the film, the day that she went to.
Sandra Bullock plays main character, Ruth Slater. You have not seen her like this. Nor has there been the feeling drawn out of us like it is toward what we have for the character in this role. She has a glimpse of the Sandy that we know and love yet. She has been hardened by. First a painful young life.
And then the 20 years of prison life, Viola Davis, another minor role that Viola turns into an impactful character. She plays the new owner of the house of the scene of the crime, which sent Ruth to prison. Richard Thomas and Linda. They play the adoptive parents of Katherine or Katie Ruth’s little sister.
They both play their perspective roles. Very well, Richard, as the intense protector of his daughter and the impact that roots choices had on her while Linda displayed the emotional understanding and not wanting to stand in the way of Catherine’s rights to the truth. The REEL-view is. 7 out of 10 stars.
This film’s production design is as much a character as the people who played the roles, the cinematography was very well done. Watching the film, you felt cold, you felt her exhaustion, the pain of the physical scene. You felt a despair, even for this apparent cold blooded killer with the cold and the likely smelly fish factory where she worked and the stark coldness of the environment around them, the whole film is a bland color palette, giving the look of emptiness desperation and giving us a longing much like that of Ruth.
This film also delivered in enthralling story in a simplistic way. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say the intended and expected emotions are truly felt in this film. If you’re a crier grab tissue for this one, The Unforgivable was released in 2021. It was directed by Nora Fingscheidt, starring Sandra Bullock, Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Jon Bernthal, Viola Davis, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
It is rated R and has a runtime of one hour and 52 minutes. It can be viewed on Netflix. All right here is these spoiler alert, warning, those new to REEL Film Reviewed, after this point, I will discuss this review further potentially and likely revealing spoilers. Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
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Welcome back, everyone. Let’s dive into the REEL-View – hollywood comparison. The REEL-View was seven out of 10. Critics said 41 popular opinions, 7.2 out of. And rotten tomatoes gave it 37%. That is unfair. Well, as we know, the film begins with Ruth getting out of prison immediately showing us that she has no family and no one who cares about her as there’s no one there to greet her or pick her up after she’s released.
She checks in with her PO and at a halfway house, she had sends to get a job as a carpenter, but she quickly learns that her convict status, as well as the specific crime that she committed will prevent her from getting reasonable work. She accepts work from her PO in a fish factory. Well, it was a connect from the PO as we know, but anyway, she’s working at a fish factory, which looked.
Pretty much like the worst job that anyone could have. She meets Blake who is played by John , who kind of gives her hope about the kindness in people. She gets another job this time on her own as a carpenter, she kind of stumbles into that and it’s semi under the. Her PO seems discouraging for pretty much.
The entire film is showing her merely a glimmer of kindness. Once in the film, after a disastrous meeting with Katherine’s adoptive parents, a and a fight with Blake after she admitted her convict status to him, Ruth breaks down and loses. She appears to break, but she does pull herself together. Luckily Catherine’s adoptive sister, Emily finds the letters that Ruth wrote to Katie in prison and then contacts Ruth.
She tells her where she can see Katherine or Katie playing piano and Ruth scrambles to contact her former attorney who just happens to be. The owner of the house that she lived in with her kids, sister, that she wanted to see if she could go to the piano, playing without any kind of legal repercussions in her pursuit of finding him, she runs into his wife, whose name is Liz played by Viola Davis.
And the wife has already untrusting of Ruth and throws her out of, off of the property. But Ruth refuses and finally breaks down and admits the truth. Katie was the one who shot the share. Ironic. We suddenly feel this wave of relief wash over us. As we now know she is the good person and. Only innocent of the crime, but she took the blame for her five-year-old sister.
Liz drives Ruth to the location of the piano recital. When she learns that the sons of the sheriff who was killed have kidnapped Catherine Liz drives Ruth to the meeting point after which we see the plot unfold. And we learned that they haven’t kidnapped Catherine. They’ve kidnapped Emily by accident.
There’s a little bit of a standoff to, after everything is all over. Then we see Catherine there with the Malcolm’s comforting Emily with the paramedics. And finally she sees Ruth and the two of them embrace and the film ends. It was a pretty emotional story. I kind of did a quick little rundown is most of the time when you’ve listened to this part of the review, you’ve heard.
Seen the movie. So I try not to be too heavy on the recap, but breaking down the real view, this was certainly more of an audience favorite than a critic one, as we can tell by the ratings. And I think that had, that had a lot to do with how they made us feel about Ruth’s later, before the truth finally came out in the end, I feel like I knew the truth.
I became increasingly more suspicious. The more flashbacks that we got each time there was a flashback, it was either another scene or a further elaboration on a scene. And I knew for sure when she had PTSD nightmares about the gun shot, but not of the actual scene of the shooting, most people will remember.
Shooting someone and remember the, what the person looked like and stuff like that. She just had PTSD of the shot. So that made me think she just heard the shot. And that’s what triggered her fear because she knew the gunshot plus hearing the sheriff screamer name and all of that too. I think us being made to dislike Ruth right from the beginning was hard to do.
We’re open to have a sympathy or a dislike for her from the beginning, which is largely because it was Sandra Bullock, but we know that she was convicted of the crime. We know what the crime was, and she seems to admit it fairly openly, but not without a hidden pain behind it. Sandra played her so well that it was the carefree way that she accepted responsibility so easily combined with how devoted she was to her sister.
Something just wasn’t adding. And then suddenly that’s when I figured it out. Cause it wasn’t necessarily that she was super emotional when she would admit it, she would just be like, yep, I did it. Yep. I did it. I felt fine. I did it. And there was just something wrong with how easy she was accepting it.
Unless the sheriff did something really bad or. The sister did it because we also get a little bit of information before that, about the phone call that the sheriff was having with Sandra while she was preventing them from coming in the house, he was saying, look, I’ll clear out the bedroom. You can sleep there.
And the boys will take couches or whatever it was that they were planning. He sounded like a good guy and they highlighted that for a reason. So then I was kind of like, I bet the sister did it. Wasn’t too surprising when that. The ending was something that many liked, but did not like I have seen some mixed reviews on that.
I liked it because it did confirm that Katherine remembered her sister and that she bared no ill will toward her, whether or not she remembered if she killed the sheriff was not learned nor wasn’t relevant. Her life was already impacted. Ruth had already served the time for the crime. And I don’t think there could have been any alternate ending in which we see Catherine.
Taking responsibility or getting any punishment for her child crime. She did it when she was five years old, it had been 20 years. So she’s now 25, possibly almost 26. At this point, somebody has already spent 20 years in prison for it, regardless if it was actually the person who did it or not, somebody is still paid for it.
So I don’t think it was necessarily relevant for them to have elaborated more on that. And I think that may have been the reason why. Didn’t necessarily care for it. But as a cinematic choice, I agreed with it. I probably would’ve gone the same way. Right. Let’s get into some, did you know facts? This film was originally announced in 2010 and producer Graham king wanted Angelina Jolie to play Ruth Slater initially and hired Christopher McQuarrie to write a script tailored specifically for her.
She never signed on and over the next few years, it went through various writers and directors before finally going into development in 2009. The film was based on a British mini series unforgiven, which was released in 2009. And this kind of plays on a little bit, what we were talking about a moment ago in Washington state children under the age of eight can not be criminally prosecuted.
So since Katie was five years old at the time of the shooting, Ruth did not have to take the blame for her though. I do understand that even though she may not have gone to prison for it, her life would have been impacted forever, regardless of the legalities of it. I do understand Ruth’s decision, but just on a technicality standpoint, legality wise, she probably would have been all right.
Either way. More about, I think, preventing her from finding out and prevent it. Like just kind of protecting her. She didn’t know if she remembered it or not, because obviously she’d spent 20 years in prison. There was a no contact order. So there wasn’t really a way for her to confirm how she was doing.
And Sandra. So focused on that, that her life, even though it was as a convict, she kind of knew her life was over the day that she turned herself in everything that she does, the work that she does, everything, she, she doesn’t spend her money on anything. That’s why she has the money that she has in order to do things because that’s all she cares about is getting back to her sister and finding out basically for lack of a better way of putting it, that it was worth it, that she was able to make something of her life and.
What her plan was worked and the fact that she didn’t know anything about her was kind of a little bit of a different thing. And I did want to spend a little bit more time talking about the meat of the story. I know normally after little known facts, I normally will head out, but I did want to elaborate a little bit more cause there was a simplicity to the story, but there was a lot of emotional components to it.
So we’ve kind of mauled over Ruth Slater and how her role and how. Life was changed and the decision that she made, I wanted to highlight the adoptive parents because the father made some really great points. He was very reluctant to even listen to Ruth’s bidding at all. She didn’t request a meeting to meet with Katie.
She wanted to meet with the parents just to see how her sister was doing. And he pretty much was not understanding what the benefit was for her to even know that she existed. And for her to leave him alone, there was some. Plot hole there because in the letter I paused it and I read it. But in the petition, she requested meeting with the parents just to find out how Katie was.
And then when they actually met, he objected to not understanding what Katie was going to gain by bringing her back into her life. But one thing I did understand his point because he was the only one that mentioned what is Katie getting out of? What would be the benefit on her side, which I understand everybody has a right to see and meet their family, but I think it should have still been her choice.
So that’s where people were disagreeing with him is that he didn’t even want to give her the choice to mess up her life. But at least that’s what he felt in, in his opinion that it would mess up her life. But then the other part was I kind of backed up and I’m like, well, why are they even talking about this?
Ruth was just trying to talk about how she was doing and finding out if she was happy and all that. So there was a couple of things. I think that’s pretty much it, as far as components that I wanted to talk about, there was that little thing between Blake and Ruth. I don’t think there was too much growth there intended in the story, but the fact that Blake was an ex-con and so was.
I understood. He kind of froze up because ex cons aren’t supposed to associate with other ex-con. So it made sense. However, I’ve kind of figured that the fish factory was mostly made up of ex-con. So I didn’t understand. I mean, they were co-workers so they could have gotten away with that kind of thing.
Possibly. I don’t know what the rules are as far as that goes to the legalities are, but that was something that I thought about. I was kind of surprised that he. Surprised and that he reacted that way. Anyway. That is all I have for you today on the unforgivable. Let me know what you thought of the film.
So I know there’s, like I said, there’s been a lot of mixed reviews on it. I’m always curious to hear your opinions about it. Find me on Twitter, leave me a comment. I always do do a little poll when I released the episode. So let me know what you think. If you watch it after you’ve listened to the review, I’m also curious to see what you thought.
Thanks for listening everyone. I’ll catch you next time.
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