3 StarsProsecuting Casey Anthony stars Rob Lowe as Florida prosecutor Jeff Ashton as he takes on one last case before retirement. He’s built up quite a case against Casey Anthony, and believes he’s got everything he needs to convict her for the murder of her daughter Caylee. Despite this defense lawyer Jose Baez (Oscar Nunez) is able to get the jury to acquit her. Based on the book Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, this Lifetime original movie explores the case that captivated and shocked the nation, as well as Nancy Grace.
Lifetime is really getting it right when it comes to movies based on true events and real people. These are typically high-profile stories that polarize audiences, but here they rarely choose to take sides and instead smartly tell the story from the perspective of a character directly involved. Prosecuting Casey Anthony takes a slightly different approach by centering the story around prosecutor Jeff Ashton instead of Casey Anthony. Not only does this make Anthony a secondary character, but it swaps her out with her defense lawyer Jose Baez as the bad guy. This makes for an interesting viewpoint, considering most people watching the film have already made up their minds on Anthony’s guilt.
Rob Lowe is entrancing as Ashton, he makes for the perfect likable lawyer – strong, confident and down to earth. Along with his number two, played by Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell, it’s amazing to see just how overconfident the prosecution gets, even snickering at the defense as they make their case. Oscar Nunez plays a little out of his comfort zone as a slimy defense attorney who will say anything, with complete disregard to common courtesy, to make the prosecution’s case look bad. He brow beats witnesses and viciously attacks evidence. If not for the circumstances most people would be proud of how well he argues Anthony’s case.
In the end it’s Baez’s over-emotional style versus Ashton’s by the books evidence driven style that makes up the bulk of this showdown. For those that got caught up in this case the movie offers an interesting recap from a difference perspective.
Director: Peter Werner
Stars: Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Mitchell, Oscar Nuñez