Like any redblooded Anglophile American lady, I love me some Colin Firth, but I hesitate at the idea of him playing a journalist investigating Meredith Kercher’s murder. The case is a mess but one that doesn’t appear to reveal or say anything exceptionally meaningful about any of the people involved. The convictions are under appeal, the evidence is confusing, countersuits are flying in all directions, the head prosecutor has been convicted of interference in another murder case. Is the message to be that Italian justice is a mess? That study abroad is dangerous? That Amanda Knox was either an immoral slut or a nice American girl who fell in with bad people who got framed? The inability to discern the truth about any of these things is not tremendously meaningful or surprising.
And with that premise, having Firth in as an audience proxy in the form of a journalist puts viewers at a further remove from having to make up their minds about the certainly sad but not exceptionally revealing case. There’s a possibility that the movie will end up being about the trade of journalism, which I’m all in favor of. But in that case, there is a real-life, journalist-in-Italy-investigating-a-murder-runs-into-trouble story just waiting to be made into a movie. It’s the Monster of Florence case, the one the lead prosecutor in Knox’s trial got himself in trouble for. But someone else is apparently already making it, so Firth and Michael Winterbottom can’t.