Amanda Knox will take the world by storm again, this time not through her accused murder in 2007 of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy, but through Michael Winterbottom’s (24 Hour Party People) newest drama/thriller The Face of an Angel. Based loosely on American journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau’s book Angel Face: Sex, Murder and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox, the film is a fictionalized account of Knox’s murder case in Italy and how it took the global media by storm.
The film was shot last year in Italy and is currently one of the hottest properties at the Berlin Film Festival. Interest has been bolstered by the conclusion of Knox’s re-trial, begun last March, which just returned a guilty verdict on January 30, 2014. This was the latest turn in a very twisty route the case has taken through the Italian legal system. After an initial guilty verdict, Knox was freed upon appeal in 2011 before an appeals process in a higher court demanded the re-trial. The production team behind The Face of an Angel has said this latest news would not affect the film, which is both (as mentioned) fictional, and centers on a struggling filmmaker rather than the accused subject.
Here’s the film’s synopsis per a report from Variety:
The murder of a British student in Tuscany leads to the trial and conviction of her American flat mate and Italian boyfriend in controversial circumstances.
The public interest around the case attracts once successful, but now struggling filmmaker Thomas, to be commissioned to write a film, “The Face of an Angel,” based on a book by Simone Ford, an American journalist who covered the case. From Rome they head to Siena to research the film.
Thomas has also recently separated from his wife in a bitter divorce and left his 9-year-old daughter in Los Angeles. As his life unravels, he becomes increasingly disturbed by the dark medieval atmosphere surrounding the case and begins to fall into his own personal hell.
Just as Thomas is about to hit rock bottom, he meets British student Melanie, with whom he begins an innocent relationship. This is a beautiful, unrequited love where Melanie provides solace to him and acts as a guide to his own heart. Thomas starts to question what is more important to him, solving an unsolvable crime and writing the film, or returning back to the daughter he has left behind.
Daniel Bruhl, a recent Golden Globe nominee for his work as Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda in Rush, plays Thomas, with 21 year-old English model and actress Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) in as Melanie and Kate Beckinsale (the Underworld series) as Simone.
From that same Variety report, below is a snippet of the promo reel that’s being show to sell the film to distributors. Perhaps most interesting is the similarity in subject matter this film bears to another Bruhl piece, The Fifth Estate (though hopefully this movie proves to be of a better overall quality). We’ll have to wait to see for sure, but themes of public perception and journalistic integrity in a world driven by populist interest certainly seem to be at the forefront.