Reversal of Fortune

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Reversal of Fortune
Reversal of fortune poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBarbet Schroeder
Produced by
Screenplay byNicholas Kazan
Based onReversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case
by Alan Dershowitz
Starring
Music byMark Isham
CinematographyLuciano Tovoli
Edited byLee Percy
Production
companies
  • Reversal Films, Inc.
  • Sovereign Pictures
  • Shochiku Fuji Co. Ltd.
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • September 12, 1990 (1990-09-12) (TIFF)
  • October 17, 1990 (1990-10-17) (Los Angeles)
  • October 19, 1990 (1990-10-19) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$15.4 million

Reversal of Fortune is a 1990 American drama film adapted from the 1985 book Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case, written by law professor Alan Dershowitz. It recounts the true story of the unexplained coma of socialite Sunny von Bülow, the subsequent attempted murder trial, and the eventual acquittal of her husband, Claus von Bülow, who had Dershowitz acting as his defense.[1] The film was directed by Barbet Schroeder and stars Jeremy Irons as Claus, Glenn Close as Sunny, and Ron Silver as Dershowitz. Screenwriter Nick Kazan originally envisioned Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer in the role of Claus von Bülow, but was thrilled with Irons' performance. Irons earned the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film.

Plot[edit]

The story is narrated by Sunny von Bülow, who is in a coma after falling into diabetic shock after a Christmas party. Her husband, the dissolute European aristocrat Claus von Bülow, is charged with attempting to murder the hypoglycemic Sunny by giving her an overdose of insulin. Claus's strained relationship with his wife and his cold and haughty personal demeanor led most people to conclude that he is guilty. In need of an innovative defense, Claus turns to law professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz is initially convinced of Claus's guilt, but takes the case because von Bülow agrees to fund Dershowitz's defense of two poor black boys accused of capital murder. Employing his law students as workers, Dershowitz proceeds to defend Claus, wrestling with his client's unnerving personal style and questions of von Bülow's guilt or innocence.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot in numerous estates in Rhode Island and New Jersey, and the Knole house in Old Westbury. At least one courtroom scene was shot at the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department in Brooklyn, New York.

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly positive reviews and holds a 92% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7.89/10 from 48 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Featuring exceptional performances and a cunning script, Reversal of Fortune doubles as a tantalizing mystery and ruthless satire of the rich."[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Best Director Barbet Schroeder Nominated
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Nicholas Kazan Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Best Screenplay Nicholas Kazan Won
Casting Society of America Best Casting for Feature Film – Drama Howard Feuer Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Reversal of Fortune Nominated
David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama Reversal of Fortune Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama Jeremy Irons Won
Best Director – Motion Picture Barbet Schroeder Nominated
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Nicholas Kazan Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Won
Best Screenplay Nicholas Kazan Won
Nastro d'Argento Best Cinematography Luciano Tovoli Nominated
National Board of Review Awards Top 10 Films Reversal of Fortune Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Film Reversal of Fortune Nominated
Best Director Barbet Schroeder Nominated
Best Actor Jeremy Irons Nominated
PEN Center USA West Literary Awards Best Screenplay Nicholas Kazan Won
Political Film Society Awards Exposé Reversal of Fortune Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Nicholas Kazan Nominated
20/20 Awards Best Actor Jeremy Irons Won
Best Actress Glenn Close Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nicholas Kazan Nominated

In 2015, the 25th anniversary of Entertainment Weekly named Reversal of Fortune on its list of the 25 best films of the past 25 years.[3]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State v. von Bulow, 475 A.2d 995 (R.I. 1984).
  2. ^ "Reversal of Fortune (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  3. ^ "EW's 25 Best Movies in 25 Years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  5. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). 16 November 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

External links[edit]