A Lifetime with Amanda Knox
September 2007 and Amanda Knox (Hayden Panettiere) arrives in Perugia, Italy as a foreign exchange student where she finds shared accommodation in a cottage with two Italian women and British student Meredith Kercher (Amanda Fernando Stevens). Soon after arriving Amanda meets Raffaele Sollecito (Paolo Romio) and spends more time at his home than at the cottage. But on the 1st of November Amanda Kercher is found murdered in her bedroom and as the local police start to investigate they begin to see flaws in the alibis which both Knox and Sollecito have given.
I am going to stop with the synopsis there but point out that this Lifetime movie was first aired in February 2011 and the Amanda Knox story did not end there. I am also going to stop there because I clearly remember that British news stations always seemed to be mentioning Amanda Knox, the murder of Meredith Kercher and the following court case and even though I don't pay a huge amount of attention to the news I picked up more than enough on the case to know what happened as I am sure most people would have who are interested in watching "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy". Of course it means I don't know how accurate this Lifetime movie is to the known facts but of course being a made for TV movie you kind of accept that some facts will have been changed to make it work as a dramatization.
Now let's be honest making a movie about real people and a real murder which is fresh in people's minds and still causes controversy almost a decade later is a risky endeavour. But the team behind "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy" have done a reasonable job of dramatizing the story and doing so in such a way that you don't need to be the most attentive person to follow what is going on. So yes that means at times it is unsubtle in establishing various facts of the case such as how the police found various people's actions suspicious. Of course this unsubtle side won't be to everyone's liking and for those who expect a gritty dramatization may find this styling annoying.
What is for certain is that when it comes to the production "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy" is a cut above what you normally get in a Lifetime movie even for one based on a true crime. The sets have a more natural look and of course in Hayden Panettiere they not only have a big name star but also one who has a certain appeal which might entice those who stay well clear of Lifetime movies to check this one out.
What this all boils down to is that "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy" is a solid and frankly quite typical made for TV true crime movie which whilst trying to stay impartial also tries to be a little unsubtle so that those who enjoy the usually easy to watch nature of a TV movie will be able to follow it.