Friday, May 5, 2017

Casting JonBenét Netflix Movie Review

Casting JonBenét (2017)
Watch Casting JonBenét on Netflix
Directed by: Kitty Green
Rating: TV-14

This documentary focuses indirectly on the sensational unsolved murder case of six year old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996, filming auditions and interviews with local actors in Boulder, Colorado, revealing their memories and speculations of the case.

This is an interesting journey into public perception and rumors. This isn't about the case and doesn't attempt to reveal any bombshells about the case. It's people talking ignorantly about a case as they try to further their own careers.
Could you argue this has no point, yes. Is it ninety minutes of speculation and rumor, yes. What actually happened and what people remember are wildly different. What's surprising is how readily people treat memories as fact.
Watch it.

This could be the epitome of pointless. Amateur actors are auditioning for roles that, as far as I can tell, don't exist. The auditions are a conceit of this documentary. The actor's commentaries have little basis in fact. This doesn't delve into the case, but explores what people remember and how that has transformed over the years.

While this provides basic facts about the case, I wouldn't rely on what's revealed in this documentary. This won't help you understand the case. None of the actors say, "I can't comment." or "I don't know." They all have opinions and theories and are happy to share them no matter how absurd. They've heard some of these rumors for so long that they believe them.

This is a look at how media sensationalizes cases, and how tragedy manifests and expands. It's also an interesting look at amateur actors preparing for a part and how they get into characters head. It's definitely a one off watch, and the biggest knock against this is that the movie being auditioned for doesn't exist. Lifetime needs to get on that. If the movie existed, it would make this an interesting companion.

In 2014, Green made the documentary short, The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul. It's the exact same concept, casting the role of the 1994 Lillehammer gold medalist figure skater for a non-existent movie.

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