||Based on true accounts of the Victoria Thompson murder trial, MESMERIZED tells the story of an 18-year old orphan who is forced into an arranged marriage with a cruel older man. Set in New Zealand in the 1800s, this drama stars Jodi Foster as penniless, naive Victoria, who at the young age of 17, is coerced to move into her new husband's home. Before long, Victoria realizes that Oliver Thomspon (John Lithgow) has some strange sexual habits, and an abusive nature. Concerned for her own safety, Victoria ponders what desperate measures she'll have to take in order to become free of this terrible arrangement. Thus, when Oliver turns up dead, Victoria becomes the prime suspect, arousing the scorn of the entire nation. Both leads give solid performances as Victoria and Oliver, with Foster's understated performance as Victoria nicely contrasting Lithgow's more extravagant portrayal of Oliver. The film thrives from this interesting couple dynamic.