Ryan Gosling is attracting a lot of awards-season attention right now for his role as Neil Armstrong in First Man, but for the Los Angeles County District Attorney, today the moonshot is all about his thinly veiled portrayal of Robert Durst in 2010’s All Good Things. Seriously.
“All Good Things, although a ‘fictional’ movie, was specifically based and marketed as
the story of the disappearance and death of defendant Robert Durst’s (‘Defendant’) wife, the subsequent murder of his best friend, and the killing of his neighbor and confidante in Texas,” detailed a motion filed Tuesday by Jackie Lacey’s office wanting to get the Andrew Jarecki-directed pic admitted as evidence and viewed in the nearly two-year murder trial of real estate heir and HBO documentary series subject Durst.
“The movie pulled no punches; it made clear that the character based on Defendant had personally killed his wife in New York, planned and directed the murder of his best friend in California, and personally murdered his neighbor in Texas,” the paperwork adds in its mini-review. “The movie further alleged that Defendant’s spree of violence had begun years earlier with the senseless killing of his dog,” the D.A.’s team says of the Kirsten Dunst co-starrer that was helmed by the same director that went on to make the 2015’s Emmy- and Peabody-winning The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
Now, besides unveiling the brevity of film reviews that come out of the L.A. D.A.’s office, you may be wondering what does a box office letdown from eight years ago really have to do with a long and ongoing murder trial over the 2000 killing of Durst friend Susan Berman? Allow me to introduce you to the realities of “adoptive admissions.”
“Succinctly stated, this extremely probative evidence of Defendant’s explicit adoptive
admissions, and adoptive admissions by silence, demonstrates his culpability for the charged crime and special circumstances, the 10-page motion plus script excerpts and more exhibits declares. “The Defendant, through his admissions, has adopted the truth of allegations presented in the movie.”
Today’s filing goes on to say: “After reading the script and watching this movie, Defendant did not sue the production company for slander, nor did he object to how the movie portrayed him. Instead, he contacted the director and expressed how much he had enjoyed the film and agreed to sit for a series of interviews, including the DVD commentary for the movie,” the document from D.A. Lacey and Deputy D.A. John Lewin lays out. “When Defendant was asked on camera about his feelings about a film which had alleged that he had murdered three people and a dog, he responded, not with denials, but by stating, ‘I felt the movie was very, very, very close in much of the ways about what, pretty much, happened.'”
Durst not only sat with Jarecki to talk All Good Things but later agreed to participate fully in HBO’s six-parter The Jinx, which didn’t work out so great for him.
It was Durst’s own off-camera admission of “What the hell did I do? … Killed ’em all, of course.” in the March 2015 series finale that saw the multimillionaire snapped up by law enforcement. Arrested by the FBI on March 14 on behalf of D.A. Lacey’s office and apparent new evidence, Durst was extradited to the West Coast in fall 2015 to face California justice in a trial that has been going on ever since.
“The evidence is clear that these adoptive admissions by Defendant were freely, knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made,” Tuesday’s filing concludes. “Not only were they relayed under circumstances where Defendant had a clear understanding that the interviews would be utilized for the DVD commentary, and what would eventually became the HBO miniseries, The Jinx, but they were made when Defendant had legal representation present.”
In a jailhouse recording played at a pre-trial hearing earlier this year, the often blatant and not guilty-pleading Durst said that he realized while watching the HBO series that he “definitely had a problem.”
Umm, yeah. That’s one way to put it, on so many levels.