In 1920’s London, when glamorous Emily French (Cattrall) is brutally murdered in her home, all the evidence points to French’s young lover, Leonard Vole (Billy Howle), to whom the heiress left her fortune. Ms. French’s devoted housekeeper (Monica Dolan, The Casual Vacancy) proclaims Leonard’s guilt, but Leonard insists that his wife, enigmatic chorus girl Romaine (Riseborough), can prove his innocence. As the scandalous crime goes to trial, solicitor John Mayhew (Jones) finds that the case may be his undoing.
What We Thought:
I actually wasn’t familiar with The Witness for the Prosecution despite knowing some of Agatha Christie’s work. Because of that I can’t tell you how accurate/similar it is to previous versions.
That being said, I liked it. Like all Christie stories there’s twist after twist and you never actually know what is what till the end. Once they tell you who did it, you realize it’s not true. Then there’s a patsy and the final truth comes forward.
The film has solid production value. The set design and costuming are really good. Kim Cattrall’s home looks fantastic. The courtroom and costumes in it are spot on. Same for Andrea Riseborough and her other performers. Their wardrobe is flashy and fits the time.
The acting is quite good too. You can never go wrong with Toby Jones. I’ve seen him in a lot of these Acorn releases and he’s always good. He plays a perfect lawyer for the time period. I almost didn’t recognize Riseborough. Her look was so different from I’m used to. Kim Cattrall doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but is good for what it is. I wasn’t familiar with Billy Howle, but I can see him doing a lot of these types of programs.
If you are a fan of Agatha Christie I think you’ll like The Witness for the Prosecution. Even if you aren’t familiar with the story (like I wasn’t), you should like it if you like early 20th century dramas. It’s just a well made drama with good acting and production design.
Cast & Crew:
- Toby Jones
- Kim Cattrall
- Andrea Riseborough
Recommended If You Like:
- Agatha Christie Stories
- British TV/Film