Rob Lowe Goes
After Tot Mom

What seemed like a slam-dunk case turned out to be far more complicated than anyone could have imagined — especially for prosecutor Jeff Ashton. Intercut with real footage from Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, this movie takes a look at how the most despised woman in America miraculously walked free.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony

3.5 Stars: Perfect for anyone who was obsessed with the trial.

Jeff Ashton (Rob Lowe) is a hotshot Florida prosecutor with an excellent track record. He believes, like many of us, that Casey Anthony (Virginia Welch) murdered her two-year-old daughter Caylee, whose body was found in a nearby swamp. But what Ashton doesn’t know is that for a jury, finding Anthony guilty is going to be incredibly difficult.

Casey Anthony waited 31 days to report her daughter missing, and only admitted it at the panicked urging of her mother, Cindy Anthony (Marina Stephenson Kerr), who also told 911 that her daughter’s car smelled like a dead body had been in it.

It was those 31 days that Jeff Ashton thought would convince the jury of Casey’s guilt. He believed that the partying, the wild photos and the lying that transpired would make the case. And then there was Casey's "Bella Vita" tattoo, meaning "the beautiful life."

Prosecuting Casey Anthony

In the movie, a journalist asks Ashton what he would have asked Casey, had she ever taken the stand. He said he’d ask about the tattoo. "Your daughter is missing or dead for three weeks and you get a tattoo that says Bella Vita? I believe that’s the clearest expression of motive and I would have asked her, 'What does Bella Vita mean to you?' I would have loved to have heard her explanation for that,” says Ashton.

Indeed, we’d all like to hear Casey’s twisted reasoning. To further support Ashton’s hubris is the fact that Casey kept her court-appointed defense attorney Jose Baez (The Offices Oscar Nuñez), who had less than three years' experience in the courts. Ashton was certain Baez would make rookie mistakes, allowing Ashton to successfully get Casey Anthony the death penalty.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony

While the legal machinations are fascinating, this story continues to be heartbreaking. During an autopsy, Ashton picks up Caylee’s tiny skull that may have been covered with duct tape. The skull fits in the palm of his hand, demonstrating how young the girl was, how fragile her little body and how tragic her death.

The only good news in this story is the enactment of Caylee’s law: On April 6, 2012, Florida made it a felony to give false statements to law enforcement about a missing child who dies or is badly injured. The movie tells us that under the new law, Casey Anthony may have served 20 years.

Bottom line: Rob Lowe is perfect as the cocky attorney and gives us deeper insight into a twisted, macabre story that seems like it was ripped from an ancient Greek tragedy.

May Caylee Anthony rest in peace.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Photo credits: Lifetime

Tags:

Recommended for you

Comments

Comments on "Prosecuting Casey Anthony movie review: Not so Bella Vita"

alan alexander November 07, 2013 | 5:03 PM

I have not read a novel of John Grisham's after he said the jury 'probably' got it right.I respect Dr. Jan Garavalgia's opinion that 'it was a homicide'.Apart from the state prosecutor, there was nobody there definitively for Caylee and the jury didn't have to face the scorn of wrathful relatives.

Orlando Gigi January 20, 2013 | 4:17 PM

Am I the only person put off by Baez's slimy persona? Still in shock by the jury's lack of ability to connect the dots and void of common sense for that matter. I would wager the average IQ of that jury to be extremely low.

linda kinne January 20, 2013 | 10:07 AM

Casey Anthony should rot in hell. What goes around comes around & someday will have to meet with the higher power!

Jane January 20, 2013 | 9:24 AM

This jury definitely checked out early as I believe they just could not comprehend much of anything presented, especially forensics. They obviously gravitated towards Baez's "everyman" personality and his "defending" this "wonderful mother". After all, Caseys "years of ual abuse" warped her mind. Such bull! I truly agree with LI Mom commenting above - they would have been best served if Jeff Ashton WERE Jerry Springer - seems to fit their comprehension level.(Nothing against Jerry, hes a very smart man who knows how to play his particular audience(class of people)(and Jeff -brilliant and honorable in his quest to put the BABY KILLER behind bars where she belongs) But I think the prosecution way over estimated the intelligence of this jury. But I guess all said -they were a jury of Casey's peers - morons. I do wish Cindy would have been prosecuted to the FULLEST extent for her OBVIOUS perjury if nothing more than to make a point of the seriousness of the entire event. In the mind of a jury like this, not prosecuting her made it seem like the prosecution may have felt unsure, so did not want to pursue, again lending doubt. I would have taken her down. Sad for America

rose January 18, 2013 | 8:38 AM

I THINK THE PROSECUTION DID A EXCELLENT JOB. THE JURORS LEFT THEIR COMMON SENSE IN THE HOTEL.IF LITTLE CAYLEE HAD ALREADY PASSED, AS SHE CLAIMED, WHY PUT DUCK TYPE OVER HER MOUTH AND NOSE. I AM STILL SO UPSET WITH THE JURORS. YOU HAD TO BE STUPID TO NOT PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER. JEFF DID A WONDERFULL JOB!!!!. GOD BLESS CAYLEE, CINDY AND GEORGE. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM. I HAVE A GRANDDAUGHTER, SHE WILL BE 2 IN FEB. I CAN NOT EVEN THINK OF LIVING WITHOUT HER.

RKs Niece January 17, 2013 | 10:14 PM

May Caylee Anderson rest in peace. Prosecuting Casey Anderson premiers on Lifetime on Saturday, Jan. 19 COPIED AND PASTED FROM ARTICLE... SOMEONE NEEDS A PROOFREADER!! RIDICULOUS!

Steve January 17, 2013 | 8:33 AM

Casey Anderson hahaha, you guys r really on top of things

LI_Mom January 16, 2013 | 6:30 PM

The prosecution's worst mistake was in under estimating how this jury would be so enthralled by Baez's titillating theories & mesmerized to the point of not even bothering to listen to a word the prosecution said. The jury mistook this trial for segment of the Jerry Springer show & wanted to believe this baby killer was a victim of everyone around her. And the judge bent over backwards to accommodate the inexperience & stupidity of Baez lest there be a mistrial.

Tom January 16, 2013 | 2:43 PM

Leave this poor girl alone she was found Not Guilty. Let her live her life. I won't be watching this lifetime trash anyway.

+ Add Comment


(required - not published)