I must have missed this movie in 2007, but I do not know how. Maybe I was actually afraid to check it out, since it’s a bit difficult to watch. But that difficulty comes from the horrible story of abuse, torture, neglect and many more things that happen, now even in greater numbers than in 1965, when actual events took place. The director decided to go with the side-by-side style of storytelling, where we can follow events that lead to the trial and the trial itself. The acting was phenomenal, and right from the start you could see that Ellen Page is going to be a great actress. MILF Catherine Keener was also excellent, but we are used to her style of acting and talent. And a little note here, the real Gertie was truly scary, and I think that they should have casted someone scarier.

Betty and Lester Likens work in a carnival, and they have to travel a lot, and with two young daughters this proves to be a difficult task. After accidentally meeting with Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski who already has six children in her house they decide to leave their two daughters, Sylvia and Jennie to her to take care of them (not take care take care, but take care, and what she actually did was something far more different). Gertrude, who’s struggling to make ends meet, takes them for 20$ a week. In the beginning everything seemed pretty much normal, but soon enough things will start to take a more sinister look. The story is even more compelling if you know that is based on true events. And not loosely based, but even toned down for this movie, and if you are interested in monstrosities of this case check out the link below. I usually end with enjoy, but this can hardly be said here, we can only watch and try to learn something from this (although I had very different feelings, mostly violent towards Gertie and the rest of them)…

Director: Tommy O’Haver

Cast: Ellen Page, Catherine Keener, Hayley McFarland, Nick Searcy, Ari Graynor, Scout Taylor-Compton

Fun Facts: Ellen Page literally starved herself for her role as Sylvia. When director Tommy O’Haver noticed she was looking thinner, he asked her if she was eating and she replied “No, because Sylvia wasn’t being fed.”

Rating:

True Story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Baniszewski

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0802948/

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