Directed by Michael Ritchie (The Candidate) with an eye toward his terrific 1970s legacy of social and political satires, this 1993 HBO comedy stars Holly Hunter as the real-life Texas woman who solicited a killer to aid her daughter's dream of becoming a high school cheerleader. Hunter is remarkable in the lead, somehow both scary and sympathetic. But it is Ritchie who gets to the heart of the matter in the aftermath of the murder, when there is a mad scramble by the media and Hollywood to package the absurdist atrocity for their own ends. One of the director's more biting studies of the shadow side of ritual Americana, this is not for anyone looking for a bull docudrama. --Tom Keogh
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