Crimes of the Past (DVD Review)16 Mar, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Prebook 3/17/10; Street 4/13/10
Stars David Rasche, Elisabeth Röhm, Eric Roberts.
It’s been said that the early relationship between a father and daughter often determines the types of men she will date and marry later in life.
For Josephine Sparrow (Elisabeth Röhm from “Heroes” and “Law & Order”), a fatherless upbringing due to her dad’s career as a covert CIA spy has contributed to too many one-night stands, a drinking problem and a child-custody battle.
To Thomas Sparrow (David Rasche from “Ugly Betty”), the 25-year gap in fatherhood — underscored by both physical and emotional wounds suffered in a botched CIA operation and finding his wife in an affair with another man — has left him shouldering enormous guilt.
Upon his return to Seattle, Thomas attempts to reconnect with Josephine the only way he knows how: by spying on her. What he finds is a young woman in need of more than a father figure.
What the viewer may find is an independent film riddled with enough close-ups of the two to fill a yearbook. Crimes of the Past (which used to be known by the superior title The Spy and the Sparrow) achieves a by-the-numbers drama that never allows enough time for father and daughter to connect with each other, let alone the viewer.
German-born Röhm carries the film and ultimately helps make the story and DVD worth watching.