The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Directed by Andrew Jarecki
Robert Durst, scion of one of New York’s billionaire real estate families, has been accused of three murders but never convicted. Brilliant, reclusive, and the subject of relentless media scrutiny, he’s never spoken publicly—until now. During interviews with Andrew Jarecki, he reveals secrets of the case that baffled authorities for 30 years. In 2010, Jarecki made the narrative film All Good Things based on the infamous story of Robert Durst. After Durst saw the film, he contacted Jarecki wanting to tell his story. What began as a feature documentary ultimately became a six-part series as more and more of his incredible story was revealed.
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★★★★½ review by the_narrator on Letterboxd
Man, if this miniseries accomplished anything, it should be getting Ryan Gosling that Oscar. I didn't even know it was him the whole time!
★★★★ review by josh lewis on Letterboxd
★★★★★ review by Leticia Fernandes on Letterboxd
At this point I'm honestly terrified Robert Durst will show up at my house and kill me for watching this
★★★★½ review by Esteban Gonzalez on Letterboxd
¨What the hell did I do?¨
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is a fascinating documentary directed by Andrew Jarecki that was presented as a 6 part series in HBO. I was so engulfed in this fascinating investigative crime documentary that I actually watched all six episodes nonstop. That makes for four straight hours and believe me, if it wasn´t interesting I wouldn´t have binge watched it the way I did. The documentary is completely engaging with some great investigative work and some wonderful recreation scenes combined with interviews from almost everyone involved in the case. Robert Durst himself decided to give Jarecki interviews and tell his version of the story after having seen the film All Good Things, directed by Jarecki and which starred Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. The film was based on true events involving Durst´s relationship with his wife who went missing, and all evidence seems to point at the fact that Durst murdered her. Why Robert would want to give his side of the story is beyond me, but Jarecki knew he found gold and took advantage of the situation. The film is mesmerizing and from the very opening scene you now that there is something off with Durst. The first episode introduces the crime in such a thrilling way that you are hooked from the start leaving you wanting to learn more. It all leads to a more than fascinating conclusion which is rare to find in criminal mysteries like this. All that I can say is that the investigative work pays off and the ending is more than satisfying.
The series couldn´t have opened in a more gripping and gruesome way. One of the most difficult tasks in constructing a documentary is knowing how to edit and order all the footage. I know that the producers had a lot to work with here, but the way they decided to open the documentary played a key role in why it managed to be so compelling and gripping. It all begins with a police investigation after someone discovers a dismembered body in a river. All evidence points to the neighbor of the victim, who we soon discover is Robert Durst who just happens to be going by another alias. The murder is gruesome and the evidence is more than compelling. Jarecki had us hooked from that moment, but then he goes on to give us some additional information about who Durst is. He has a very suspicious background. The son of a NY multi millionaire, Durst grew up with all the privileges in life. We get plenty of information about his childhood and then we are introduced to some other crimes he was linked to which only goes on to solidify the fact that this man is guilty. For the remainder of the documentary you are left wondering how this man has got away with these things for so long and of course the reason is he is connected. If you have the amount of money he has, you can basically get away with any crime and for most of the documentary you are left enraged that our judicial system works the way it does. I don´t think there is a single moment where you can have any doubt that this man is a murderer and you can see it through his own interviews with every nervous tick when questioned. Robert has lied for so long that you do begin to think it is possible that he actually believes his lies.
The payoff in the end is probably the most rewarding thing about this documentary, but I think it would´ve still worked without it because the footage is very compelling and the series managed to keep me hooked from the very first episode. Even if you are not a fan of documentaries, this is one you should definitely check out because it is a very rewarding 240 minutes. You don´t have to watch it all at once, that is why it is divided in six 45 minute episodes, but believe me it will captivate you. There wasn´t one episode where I felt the pace drag, it always kept flowing and maintained the suspense throughout. There are very emotional interviews and compelling footage of court cases. The Jinx is one of those films that will be very difficult to forget and I´m glad I finally came around to watching it.
★★★½ review by laird on Letterboxd
The hot mic in a bathroom gag was way funnier in THE NAKED GUN.
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