Directed by Michelle Danner, Miranda’s Victim is based on true events following a sexual assault and kidnapping in 1963. The result ends up not only being life-changing, but alters the course of an entire country.
As an 18-year-old child, Patricia Weir (Abigail Breslin) was kidnapped and raped after taking the bus home from her job at the local movie theatre. After 60 years, “Trish” has finally allowed this story to be told.
With sole support coming from her sister Ann (Emily VanCamp), Trish was determined to see justice through and have her rapist imprisoned. Their mother, Zeola Weir (Mireille Enos) was very much against Trish speaking out, even questioning if it really happen or if she made a lapse in judgement. Now, this is the ’60s, so callous attitudes toward rape and sexual assault were reflected throughout the film. So if anyone has any experiences with the aforementioned, this film may be triggering.
Her assailant, Ernesto Miranda (Sebastian Quinn) was arrested and coerced into admitting guilt. The point that has forever changed the justice system was that he had done so without legal representation. So now you can put two and two together: When police apprehend a suspect, they must read them their “Miranda” rights. This happened based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1966 in Miranda v Arizona where the ACLU lost the case (defending Miranda) but a law was passed to prevent such an incident in the future.
Luke Wilson plays prosecutor Lawrence Turoff while Donald Sutherlin plays Judge Wren. Another notable, Ryan Phillippe, plays Miranda’s defense attorney. While the film doesn’t lay heavy on the star power, that doesn’t mean that the performances were lacking in anyway. Breslin’s harrowing performance as Patricia was as equally emotional as it was powerful, a true rally cry for women’s rights.
Miranda’s Victim gets an 8 out of 10. As a man, it was absolutely infuriating to see a woman’s rape accusation not only get brushed off by various men, but by women as well. It took a lot of courage to speak about that experience repeatedly, having people that are supposed to be in your corner (her mom and her husband) constantly doubt you and even go so far as to guilt you. So again, if this type of thing is triggering, this film is not for you. I feel awards season will be kind to Abigail Breslin.
Miranda’s Victim will be available in select theaters and on-demand on Oct. 6, 2023.
Photos: Courtesy of Vertical