as Sarah Tobias in THE ACCUSED (1988)

Sarah Tobias goes to her local bar and is gang-raped by three men. The district attorney on the case is Katheryn Murphy who wants to prove that although Sarah had taken drugs that night and was acting provocatively while in the bar, this is no reason for her to be so brutally attacked and the men responsible should be brought to justice. Not only does Katherine Murphy want to go after the men who commited the rape, she wants to go after the men in the bar who cheered it on. But Katherine has her work cut out for her... 

"You don't understand how I feel! I'm standing there with my pants down and my crotch hung out for the world to see and three guys are sticking it to me, a bunch of other guys are yelling and clapping and you're standing there telling me that that's the best you can do. Well, if that's the best you could do, then your best sucks! Now, I don't know what you got for selling me out, but I sure as shit hope it was worth it!"
                                         - Sarah Tobias

Jodie Foster received her second Oscar Nomination and first win, portraying Sarah Tobias, a reckless waitress with a troubled past, who goes into a bar one night and winds up being gang raped by three guys. I remembered being a great fan of the movie and Jodie’s performance in the past, but this time I didn’t find her performance as effective as I used
to think it was. At first, I think her performance was too forced, and I wanted to see more subtlety and softness to really enjoy her performance. She’s always in fierce, and over the top, and portrays Sarah with such ferocity but also with a lot of dignity. She creates a complex character but we can’t relate to her. She doesn’t show rightly her different sides. Then, I realize, it’s the way Sarah Tobias chose to protect herself. In the courtroom scenes, she reveals herself a lot more damaged and terrorized than we thought. She is nervous, she can’t stop shaking. Jodie Foster has great scenes to express her range, but nothing really outstanding. The character reveals itself to be very layered, but Jodie Foster chose to portray the victim, the raped and angry girl, and put aside the drunken girl, the not recommended girl, the not reliable girl. The flashback scene is really terrific, and allows Jodie other things to do. In this scene, she is able to show a bit of her other side, but it's not enough. The relationship between Katheryn Murphy, played wonderfully by Kelly McGillis, and Sarah Tobias is very interesting. We realize right away the differences, Katheryn, the smart and cultured woman, and Sarah, the lost and troubled girl. Despite their differences, a beautiful relation is created between the two, and Sarah's case became more personal for Katheryn. 

[Kelly McGillis as the district attorney Katheryn Murphy, gives a great performance, and portray a very moral and very engaged woman in her job.]

"In her first Oscar-winning role, Jodie Foster plays Sarah Tobias, a fast-food waitress who's gang-raped ina roadside table. In the course of the film, she transforms from a good-time hard-drinking girl to a woman fighting for the self-esteem she never had."
                                                                                               - Emmanuel Levy

Jodie Foster is a very versatile actress, with a lot of range and talent. She shows us a woman with a lot of contradictions, determined and frightened, full of dignity and not so  reliable. Jodie Foster deserved a better screenplay. 



  1. I've always felt this was more of Emmy material...

  2. This seems to be a surprisingly polarizing performance. People either really love it or just think it's ok. Interesting. I love Jodie Foster, so I'm curious to see how I'd react.

  3. I think I liked her a bit more than you did but still I don't think she should have won the oscar but definitely didn't pose a weak win