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Love And Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (1995) Starring Patsy Kensit

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Love And Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (1995)

Starring Patsy Kensit

Mia Farrow grew up in Beverly Hills, the daughter of actress Maureen O’Sullivan and the writer/director John Farrow. One of several children, she and her siblings spent their time attending star-studded parties at home and strict Catholic schools abroad. Her childhood also had its share of tragedy, from the threat of polio to the death of her cherished older brother. The film dramatizes her remarkable life as daughter of Hollywood royalty, acclaimed actress, lover of several famous and powerful men, and mother to 11 children. At the tender age of sixteen, against her father’s wishes Mia moved to New York to become an Off-Broadway actress. After the death of her father, she moved back to Hollywood to take a role on the television series “Peyton Place,” where she met and shortly after married Frank Sinatra. From her childhood through her relationship with Woody Allen, the film explores her triumphs and tragedies.

Director: Karen Arthur
Writers: Kristi Groteke (book), Marjorie Rosen (book)

Stars: Patsy Kensit, Dennis Boutsikaris, Richard Muenz, Robert LuPone, Frances Helm, Grace Una, Bruce McCarty, Nigel Bennett

It was a tremendous boon to TV and tabloids when celebrity Woody Allen was revealed to be having sex with his adult adopted daughter. Because it was a case of perversion and child-molestation, except that Allen apparently waited until the girl was over age 18 to make his move. And because the victim was legally an adult, media were under no obligation to protect the privacy of the victim.
The film is completely saturated with unintentional comedy. Dennis Boutsikaris, who plays Woody Allen, absolutely nailed the part, and he is made up so realistically, it creates the perfect illusion of what Woody Allen would say and do in his private life, if his lines were written by a 17 year old.
The actress who played aging screen goddess Maureen O'Sullivan is also a singular performance of sophomoric material. All in all, this telefilm is an excellently staged and acted rendition of a surreal imagining of a disgusting, real-life tragedy.
Director Karen Arthur won an Emmy for directing Cagney & Lacey in 1981. She also won a Camie (Character and Morality in Entertainment Awards) for The Locket in 2002. She is also widely known for the film Legacy in 1975.
In addition to Kristi Groteke's book Mia & Woody, the film was also based in part on Marjorie Rosen’s writings which analyze how the women portrayed in film relate to the broader historical context, the stereotypes depicted, the extent to which the women were shown as active or passive, and the amount of screen time given to women. Her early work on representation of women in film was part of a movement to make depictions of women more realistic both in documentaries and narrative cinema.