The Face of an Angel

British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom is known for bringing a documentary immediacy to his fact-based dramas (In This World, A Mighty Heart), but he has his work cut out for him with this silly metamovie based on the Amanda Knox murder case. A down-and-out filmmaker (Daniel Brühl) is hired to direct a true-crime thriller about the 2007 crime—in which an American exchange student in Italy was accused of murdering her roommate—but wants to turn this quick-buck exploitation into an art film about his own philosophical hang-ups. A virgin/whore dialectic springs up between the two women in his life: a sweet little English bar girl who becomes his tour guide around town (Carla Delevingne) and a cynical freelance reporter he takes to bed a few times (Kate Beckinsale). But for all the heavy moralizing about responsible art and journalism, the most agreeable character is a raffish tabloid journalist (John Hopkins) who refuses to apologize for giving people the trash they crave. In English and subtitled Italian.