An ambitious con artist climbs his way up the D.C. social ladder and is accused of murdering his wealthy politically-connected elderly wife.
Directed by Christoph Waltz
Written by David Auburn
Starring Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave,
Annette Bening, Corey Hawkins
Based on the article "The Worst Marriage in
Georgetown" by Franklin Foer
Legally, this film is not about Albrecht Muth, a German national who lied and cheated his way into D.C.'s elite, then murdered his wife after she discovered what he was up to. No, no, this film is about Ulrich Mott, a fictional character who did exactly what Muth did, only classier because Mott is played by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. Regardless, this film is a thinly-veiled biopic of a real-life con artist who duped some of the most powerful men in Washington. It's scary knowing how far he got to affecting international policy. If he hadn't killed his wife, who knows what else he would've done?
For a directorial debut, Georgetown isn't bad. It's just fairly unfocused and never digs into the parts of the story we really want to know. What drove this guy to be so ambitious? What happened to the EPG after Mott was convicted? How did political titans like George Soros and Robert McNamara maintain their dignity and positions after all of this came out? There's so much left unsaid. Also, I felt Annette Bening was very underused. If you're going to cast such a talented actress, you shouldn't sideline her.
Georgetown isn't the critical disaster that review sites would have you believe. It's an admittedly unremarkable film that is only watchable thanks to Waltz's committed performance. I would've liked more of the trial, and to have actually seen the conviction. Mott/Muth was a pathological liar who needed to feel powerful and respected, but all he did was cheat his way into a prison cell. At the very least, it's an interesting story.