- TV Show
Jean Harris shocked America when she shot Scarsdale Diet guru Herman Tarnhower in 1980. But if first-time director/writer Phyllis Nagy is to be believed, Jean wasn’t the perpetrator — she was the victim. Nagy’s wannabe noir, a mishmash of trial testimonials, flashbacks, and ’40s songs, presents a woman shattered by her lover’s über-macho ways (”Women aren’t conquests,” Herman murmurs to Jean. ”They’re like streetcars.”) Ben Kingsley wrings all he can out of Nagy’s simplistic scripting to minor success, and Annette Bening channels Jean with ferocious force, waxing searing outbursts with razor-sharp timing.
EXTRAS Two commentary tracks, one with Bening and Kingsley, the other with Nagy, explain some of the film’s oddball stylistic choices, including a nod in the opening credits to Sunset Boulevard. And the short featurette ”Mrs. Harris: For the Record” promises a tantalizing retrospective on the real Jean Harris, but instead resembles a five-minute teaser, with gabbing by Bening and old archived Harris interviews.