Natalee Holloway (film)

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Natalee Holloway is a 2009 American television film directed by Mikael Salomon based on Beth Holloway's book about the 2005 disappearance of her daughter Natalee Holloway. The film stars Amy Gumenick as Natalee Holloway, Tracy Pollan as Beth Holloway-Twitty, and Stephen Amell as Joran van der Sloot.[1] When it aired on the Lifetime Movie Network on April 19, 2009, the film scored the highest television ratings at that time in the network's history.[2]

Production[edit]

In October 2008, the Lifetime Movie Network announced plans to create a television film based on Beth Holloway's bestselling book Loving Natalee: A Mother's Testament of Hope and Faith. The senior vice president of original movies, Tanya Lopez, stated in the announcement that the network was "pleased to be working closely with Natalee's mother" and that they intended to tell the story of Natalee Holloway's disappearance "sensitively and accurately."[3] Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post questioned whether it was too soon for such a film to be made.[4][5] Holloway said that she was not sure at first that she could take this step, but felt that it was "the right thing to do" after meeting the creative staff in Los Angeles, California.[5]

The film was shot in Cape Town, South Africa,[6] and produced by Sony Pictures Television with Von Zerneck Sertner Films.[7] Holloway's book was adapted for television by Teena Booth, who had previously written A Little Thing Called Murder and Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal for Lifetime Television.[8] Holloway said that she was fascinated and at first overwhelmed by the logistics of the production, which she views "as an accomplishment."[5]

Plot[edit]

The film retells events leading up to the night of Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba, and the ensuing investigation in the aftermath. The film does not solve the case, but stages re-creations of various scenarios, based on the testimony of key players and suspects, including Joran van der Sloot, who is the last person seen drinking with her and escorting her out of the bar. His contradictory accounts, some presented days and others presented years later, are used to present different reenactments of Holloway's final hours before she went missing.[9]

Broadcast[edit]

The April 19, 2009 broadcast attracted 3.2 million viewers and more than 1 million women in the 18-49 age group, garnering the highest Nielsen ratings in the Lifetime Movie Network's 11-year history at that time.[2]

Reception[edit]

Although the movie set ratings records for Lifetime, the movie was not received well by critic Alec Harvey of The Birmingham News. Harvey called the movie "sloppy and uneven, a forgettable look at the tragedy that consumed the nation's attention for months".[10] However, Jake Meaney of PopMatters found the film to be surprisingly "calm and levelheaded", and praised Tracy Pollan's portrayal of Beth Holloway.[9] Holloway said that she was honored by Pollan's portrayal and that there "could not have been a better choice."[5]

Joran van der Sloot himself watched the film one evening in 2010, according to his friend John Ludwick, and said that some parts were true while others were not.[11]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD for home video on November 10, 2009 by Sony Pictures.[12] It was released internationally on DVD in January 2010 in the Netherlands, Germany, and Argentina. It has also been released in France, Greece, and Spain.[13]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  2. ^ a b Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  3. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  4. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  5. ^ a b c d Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  6. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  7. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  8. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  9. ^ a b Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  10. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  11. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  12. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.
  13. ^ Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.

External links[edit]

Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table.