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Appropriate Adult (2011)

Emily Watson , Dominic West , Julian Jarrold  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Watson, Dominic West, Monica Dolan
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Inception Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008767P84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Appropriate Adult is a haunting psychological thriller based on the true story of the unusual relationship between serial killer Fred West (Dominic West The Wire) and his appropriate adult Janet Leach (Emily Watson Gosford Park).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Searingly Powerful Film December 11, 2011
Format:DVD
APPROPRIATE ADULT may not be available on USA Format DVD as yet, but for those interested in seeing this remarkable achievement in filmmaking, it is viewable now on Sundance Channel. Watch for it. APPROPRIATE ADULT is one of the few films that relates the true story of a serial killer without resorting to forcing the audience to watch reenactments of the murders. Instead the writer, director and actors bring this savage bit of history to the screen solely through a serious of interview conducted with the killer in the presence of the British police and an 'Appropriate Adult' - one who has been trained to help the accused by detecting if the accused has learning difficulties or other encumbrances that might make the interviews invalid.

First a bit of fact: 'Frederick Walter Stephen West (29 September 1941 - 1 January 1995), was a British serial killer. Between 1967 and 1987, he alone, and later, he and his wife Rosemary, tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls, many at the couple's homes. The majority of the murders occurred between May 1973 and September 1979 at their home in Gloucester. Rosemary West also murdered Fred's stepdaughter (his first wife's biological daughter) Charmaine, while he was serving a prison sentence for theft. During this time they resided at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester. The house was demolished in 1996 and was converted into a landscaped footpath connecting Cromwell Street to St. Michaels Square.' It is now believed that West was responsible for 20 other similarly executed murders.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly mesmerizing June 27, 2012
By tinav
Format:DVD
I watched this film 3 times in a row-and knew I had to add it to my film collection. Unfortunately it is not yet available on USA format. Emily Watson portrays Janet Leach as the Appropriate Adult-an amazing performance. This true story is unbelievable; that this is something that really happened. From beginning to end-it will hold your attention; leave you gasping- and ALMOST feel a twinge of pity for the bad guy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Thing Is, You Can't Unknow Something" September 23, 2012
Format:DVD
{4.5 stars}

Closely based on a true story, "Appropriate Adult" is more about the subject of its title--Janet Leach, a trained social worker superbly played here by Emily Watson, who, in British police investigations, acts as a sort of neutral witness to the interrogations and prosecution--than it is about the murders or the perpetrator himself. There is no gore or violence to speak of, nor are there any reenactments of the crimes. The acting is plain and unvarnished, which makes it all-the-more effective. Even if it's not really his story, there is excellent character development of serial killer Fred West, and the level of empathy Leach reaches with him--and we, in turn, reach with her--is the most chilling thing about this film. Although a quiet story which moves much closer to the speed-of-life than most in its genre, "Appropriate Adult" still has its share of twists and surprises as well as some brief but engrossing courtroom drama at the end.

Those used to Hollywood crime drama may be frustrated by the simplicity and lack of fast action in this film. Nonetheless, "Appropriate Adult" contains something far better than cheap sensationalism and succeeds in being both highly disturbing and highly touching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and Riveting February 8, 2013
Format:DVD
Whoa! Many reviewers here have described the story in "Appropriate Adult" in detail so there's no need for me to rehash it. What I can say is this was the most chilling and riveting story I've seen in years. The acting was phenomenal and the twists and turns took you off guard and in the end you were simply AMAZED at how talented the English are with crime. It puts the new series "The Following" to shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Enjoyment Turned to Disaster" February 11, 2012
Format:DVD
This is an ITV made production based on the true life account of what happened in the case of Fred and Rose West. In 1994 the UK was rocked by the revelations of the married couple who turned out to be sadistic torturers and serial killers; this is part of that tragic story.

The film opens up in February of 1994, as the Gloucester Police close in with a warrant to search the West's' home at 25, Cromwell Street (the house became so notorious that it had to be demolished). Rose fears discovery and calls Fred to tell him that they have to put their plan into operation. Fred West is initially arrested because of the disappearance of his daughter. The police feel that he is `not the full shilling' as we used to say, and so decide they need an appropriate adult to advise him and see that fair play is done. As it is the weekend they can't get anyone but Janet Leach (played brilliantly by Emily Watson) is a trainee social worker and has done the training and is available. She thinks she has to sit in on someone with learning disabilities. She is clearly shocked as Fred starts to fess up to the murder and dismemberment of his own child.

The legal position of an `appropriate adult' entails professional confidence and as such anything he tells her in private, she can not relay to the police. Janet also has to deal with her common law husband who is so bi-polar that he is on lithium. As the relationship or more rightly dependency that Fred has on her develops, the more of her time is taken up by being there for him and the more her family suffer. Whilst he maintains that Rose is innocent, he starts to open up to Janet knowing it will go no further.

The death toll rises as more body parts are found, and the tension through out is palpable.
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