Movies that seek to portray real-life tragedy always run the risk of sensationalism, and when that real-life tragedy is as sensational as the 2002 Beltway Sniper shootings, it seems like understatement would be all but impossible. But as Keith Phipps’ put it in his four-star review of 2013’s Blue Caprice, “One of the film’s great strengths is it doesn’t put too fine a point on anything.” The specter of the horrific public shootings perpetrated by ex-Army sergant John Allen Muhammed and 17-year-old Lee Malvo hangs heavy over Blue Caprice, but first-time feature director Alexandre Moors doesn’t rush the film to the fireworks factory; instead, he lets that shroud of dread inform the progress of what’s more akin to a dual character study of a budding monster and his impressionable charge. Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond both give excellent performances as John and Lee, respectively, the former through chillingly controlled rage that amplifies the latter’s haunted reticence. Blue Caprice isn’t a perfect ripped-from-the-headlines film—our own Jen Chaney, a Washington, D.C. native, had some issues with the film’s portrayal of a tragedy that strikes very close to home for her—but it is notable for its impressive execution of the difficult tack it takes toward its subject matter. It’s also frequently beautiful to look at, which only adds to the slow-burn drama. If you missed this one during its very small, brief theatrical run, you can catch it tonight at 11:15 p.m. Eastern on TMC.
April 09, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day