Torso

  • 2002
  • 1 HR 30 MIN
  • R
  • Crime, Drama, Mystery

This intricately designed, true-life tale unfolds in tradition murder-mystery style, with competing flashbacks enhancing our understanding of the notorious 1946 crime and our sympathy for the maligned protagonist. Canadian Party girl Evelyn Maclean Dick (Kathleen Robertson) is a companion to WWII power brokers and has always been a meal ticket for her manipulative...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This intricately designed, true-life tale unfolds in tradition murder-mystery style, with competing flashbacks enhancing our understanding of the notorious 1946 crime and our sympathy for the maligned protagonist. Canadian Party girl Evelyn Maclean Dick (Kathleen Robertson) is a companion to WWII power brokers and has always been a meal ticket for her manipulative mother, Alexandra (Brenda Fricker), and sexually abusive father, Donald (Ken James). She tries to loosen their grip by marrying clean-cut streetcar conductor John Dick (Jim Boeven), who's murdered shortly after the wedding. Judgmental Inspector Wood (Callum Keith Rennie) sizes up Evelyn as a shady character and starts fitting her pretty neck for a noose. As Wood compiles damning facts, the amoral Evelyn damages her own cause by repeatedly changing her alibi. Her sangfroid — even when she pins the blame on her lover, Bill Bohozuk (Joseph Scoren) — astonished Wood, who takes her nonchalance for guilt. Only one person sees through Evelyn's facade, her new defense attorney, J. J. Robinette (Victor Garber). But Robinette faces an uphill battle on two fronts: Public opinion doesn't favor his client and she refuses to implicate her parents, even after they plant evidence to frame their own daughter. The biased Wood eventually begins doubting his air-tight case, but just as the clouds seem to be clearing, Evelyn's father drops a bombshell. He leads police to the buried corpse of a baby wrapped in Evelyn's clothes; Evelyn cannot explain how her baby died years ago. Can Robinette prove that Evelyn's parents are behind both homicides when Evelyn remains the devoted daughter and refuses to clear herself at their expense? Though splintered time frames and flashbacks often seem gimmicky, they actually support this crime drama's narrative structure. Bolstered by Robertson's stunning turn as the doomed heroine, this courtroom drama weaves a fatalistic web of shocking revelations and nitty-gritty investigative

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This intricately designed, true-life tale unfolds in tradition murder-mystery style, with competing flashbacks enhancing our understanding of the notorious 1946 crime and our sympathy for the maligned protagonist. Canadian Party girl Evelyn Maclean Dick (K… (more)

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