Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback (2007) Bryan Brown, Joanne Froggatt, John Wood, Tom Long, Asher Keddie, Richard Carter Movie Review

Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback (2007)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Joanne Froggatt in Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback (2007)

Trusting the Jury

Joanne Lees (Joanne Froggatt) and her boyfriend, Peter Falconio (Laurence Breuls), were travelling across Australia when they are waved over buy a guy in a ute late one night. The guy said that there camper van had an exhaust problem but not only did Joanne hear something which sounded like a gun shot but she finds herself subject of a terrifying abduction attempt by this man. Having escaped and been found by a lorry driver who drivers he to a town so she can call the police. Whilst the police find the camper van and a patch of blood behind it there is no sign of Pete and not only does she find herself being questioned by the police but also interest from the media.

As Peter Falconio was a Brit I actually remember his disappearance being reported on TV here in the UK although I don't remember much of the details. But to be honest I never watch true story movies to see how close to the truth they are but how effective they are as entertainment. And to be fair "Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback" is a solid dramatisation which focuses on Joanne Lees' story showing us the initial abduction, the escape, being a police suspect, the media representation of her being cold and also the court case following the arrest of a man who denies murdering Peter whilst her relationship with another man is brought up.

The thing is that for me "Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback" ends up all about the performance of Joanne Froggatt as she makes Lees questionable. On one hand you of course believe what she says yet there is coldness to this version of her which makes you question her innocence especially when secrets start to be revealed. And in turn this movie makes you aware of why the police in Australia may have been suspicious of her. The thing is that I wonder how close all this is to the truth and how the real Joanne Lees felt about this movie. I also wonder how some of the media also feel about this in their representation of them being ruthless.

What this all boils down to is that "Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback" is a solid drama based on a true story and I am sure those who were interested in the case might find it fascinating. But as a movie based on a true story this is just good and ends up very much about the performance of Joanne Froggatt rather than the story.