Julie is a young English woman who takes a job as a nanny
with a family in Italy. When a fire devastates the house,
she is put on trial for the murder of the baby. Her case is
taken on by the respected lawyer Gabreli, and a psychiatrist
turned nun, Mother Frances. When it becomes evident that other
fires have occurred around Julie, she is soon branded a witch
by the press. The young woman continues to protest her innocence,
but when she deliberately lies in court her council begins
to doubt her...
Disjointed is the word that immediately springs to mind here.
Before the opening credits even appear, there are two scenes
which are background establishing moments. These are thrown
in far too early. As the courtroom scenes are the most cohesive
in the film, it might have been more sensible to start here
and then tell a back story as the trial continues.
might very well be based on a true story, but it doesn't do
exactly what it says on the tin. The blurb on the video box
promotes this feature as a supernatural tale of witchcraft
and murder. Hogwash. A bird of ill-omen and some instances
of spontaneous combustion do not constitute a tale of witchcraft.
In fact, it's intimated by a scientific expert that the fires
could have been involuntarily started by the woman, triggered
by the guilt at being unable to save her mother years ago
from a house fire. The cover picture depicts the key character,
red-eyed and holding a flaming cross. There is no such moment
in the film, and likewise, a picture on the back showing a
silhouetted figure standing before a fire-engulfed Celtic
cross. Extremely misleading for the casual viewer, I think.
truth is, this is a pretty mainstream courtroom drama. It's
not the worst film in the world, but it won't exactly set
the world on fire, either. That was very nearly a joke, by