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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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I could, I would probably give this mini-series 3.5 stars. That's because it has some definite good elements:
--Dominic West's performance as Fred West as the... Read more
A not too compelling drama, where the two main characters develop some sort of bond. We only know this because it's based on real events. Read morePublished 18 months ago by M. Jensen
Whoa! Many reviewers here have described the story in "Appropriate Adult" in detail so there's no need for me to rehash it. Read morePublished on February 8, 2013 by Baazumi
This release is missing 40 minutes of material.
The original airing was 180 minutes. This release is only 2 hours and 19 minutes. Read more
Main characters in this movie: Janet (the appropriate adult) and Fred (serial killer) are played by two fabulous actors: Emily Watson and Dominic West. Read morePublished on September 27, 2012 by Eugenia
I was not familiar with this case before but now intend to learn more. Emily Watson plays a social worker who assists a man who claims he has killed many people but then contends... Read morePublished on September 9, 2012 by Viva