Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Reviews

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November 27, 2016
Even-handed review of the Polanski statutory rape case that manages to make relatively clear the legal shenanigans that have been involved while also making it clear that the director was guilty. Just taking one look at the school photo of the 13-year-girl makes you realize how wrong he was - so young. I don't think it mitigates things to ponder the fact that Polanski's parents died in the Holocaust and his wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family. In archive interviews, Polanski himself seems to brush off the seriousness of the charges, as did the French, who received him when he fled the US. However, this documentary does make it clear just how much Polanski was jerked around by the judge, a publicity-seeking knob (as suggested by both prosecution and defense lawyers in interviews), and why he decided to escape to avoid any further complications in the case and its resolution. I didn't realize that the film was 8 years ago and therefore omits the most recent moves by the U. S. to extradite Polanski again and their unwillingness to allow him to wrap things up with "time served" as even the victim and her family now think should happen. I'm of two minds - 42 days isn't much of a sentence (the time he actually spent in prison) - but 40 years in exile might be. As a parent (albeit of boys), it is hard not to see the ugly side of things and hard not to doubt the complicity of the victim at the time. All told, this is a lot of talking heads to watch but director Marina Zenovich keeps things interesting.
August 27, 2016
First rate documentary about the Roman Polanski trial for a sexual deviant case with a 13 year old girl. I now understand it all, like it or not. Riveting true life drama told through film and interviews from the time it all happened. -----
October 4, 2014
Riveting, but I am shocked at how sympathetic a portrayal of a child rapist this film is. It just goes to show that talent and celebrity will mask even the most heinous of crimes. If Polanski were Joe Shmoe no one would think twice about sending him to prison for a decade or more. Human beings and so terribly shallow and immoral.
½ March 30, 2014
Review to Come
For now: Mia Farrow, you nutty hypocrite . . .
November 8, 2013
Documentary accurately concentrates on the events surrounding the Polanski rape trial.
October 1, 2013
I'm a little obsessed with Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate and found this documentary fascinating. Whilst he did a disgusting thing, the media and the courts did little to protect the victim/s.
September 8, 2013
Interesante documental de como la justicia juega con los casos.
½ August 24, 2013
Meh. Nothing I didn't already know reallt
June 10, 2013
Well produced telling of the director's hardships and his pending charges related to a 30 year old rape case. Get the inside scoop from those closest to him... even includes interviews with the woman who accused him. I'm not a fan of him and I still found this film interesting.
March 8, 2013
A very detailed account of the court case surrounding Roman Polanski and his departure from America. The documentary barely delves into the filmmaking aspect of his life, which is more what I was looking for, but I still learned quite a bit, mainly about how corrupt the legal system can be.
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2012
Roman Polanski is my all time favorite directors, his films while not always consistent, when they're good they're the greatest ever made. He could just be the most genuine person in the industry.The film did a good job telling his two most personal life events, murder of his wife, and the child molestation case. For the case of child molestation it brought in all parties, the victim, prosecuter, and Polanskis friends were all interviewed. All of them could agree on two things, the swine of the media, and the awfulness in Judge Rittenband. Even the prosecuter stated he would flee under those conditions. It's one of the all time lows of the American judicial system. The documentary told his stories, side by side with Polanskis films. Making it feel almost as if Polanski foreshadowed all of this. Deeply personal and informative, I loved this documentary
November 10, 2012
Should be satisfying to the fans of the American legal system in the 70s' but to a fan of the director and his films, it offers very little understanding of the complex and sometimes dark psyche of one of the best directors of our time.
October 5, 2012
Roman went to the Oktoberfest too.
The rest: you know it. Or you don't. Nastassja Kinski, Samatha Geimer, Sharon Tate and a very disturbed man.
½ October 1, 2012
Pretty interesting stuff -- all still ripe for discussion. Lots of shades of grey, to be sure...
September 11, 2012
An interesting look at the trial, but with a decided bent towards Polanski apologism. I saw this doc at Sundance where the director was obviously pro-Polanski in the Q&A and qualified the statutory rape of the child with comments about the girl's maturity for her age, that her mother had pimped her for a part, etc. Upon being asked how she would feel if her son had been similarly hurt, she said the thought never occurred to her. I won't be wasting my time on the sequel.
August 20, 2012
Interesting documentary on the life of film director Roman Polanski, concentrating on his 1977 trial. The behind-the-scenes machinations of the case are fascinating, and go along way to explaining why he fled the US.
August 12, 2012
A fascinating, insightful and meticulously researched documentary about one of cinema's most celebrated filmmakers that would be considered too far-fetched to be produced if it were presented as a work of fiction. It's the sort of film that encourages discussion and debate as the many layers to its central figure are unravelled, from Roman Polanski's traumatic childhood to the murder of wife Sharon Tate and their unborn son, and Judge Laurence J. Rittenband's manipulation of the legal system to victim Samantha Geimer's reflections on the case. There's a lot to absorb and contemplate here; a sign of exceptional filmmaking by Marina Zanovich.

Notable films of Roman Polanski: 'Knife in the Water' (1962) - his first feature film, 'Repulsion' (1965), 'The Fearless Vampire Killers or: Pardon Me, Madam, but Your Teeth Are in My Neck' (1967) [also known as 'Dance of the Vampires'] - in which the director appeared alongside Sharon Tate, 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968), 'Macbath' (1971), 'Chinatown' (1974), 'Le Locataire' [also known as 'The Tenant'] (1976), 'Franitc' (1988) - featuring actress/model Emmanuelle Seigner, 'The Pianist' (2002), 'The Ghost Writer' (2010).
½ June 27, 2012
Mainly serves as a prime example as to how much of a joke the American justice system is.
June 12, 2012
Interesting, though the particulars of the case itself aren't as fascinating as the documentary seems to think. The most interesting parts are those that hint at Polanski's mindset, which are few and far between; one gets the feeling that this might make a far more effective docudrama. Still, I like the evenhandedness of this piece.
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