Tuesday morning review

Tuesday morning review


Two weeks in a row and I am breaking what I understand to be the movie reviewers’ golden rule of conduct. I really liked this movie.

A lot.

If a successful film is a compelling story, well told, then Conviction – (2010) starring Hilary Swank as Betty Anne Waters the sister who so loved her brother that she went to truly extraordinary lengths to prove his innocence of a murder charge, is that and more.

A high school drop-out, Waters put herself through law school and overcame spectacular obstacles on the way to the eventual outcome.

Swank showed why she has won two Academy Awards in her career with an amazing performance that is powerful, arresting and still not over the top. She epitomizes the word “conviction” with her relentless dedication to saving her brother from a life in jail.

Sam Rockwell as the brother (Iron Man-2, The Green Mile) Kenny Waters is also note perfect, with his ability to go from a great guy to hang around with to a raving destructive lunatic in a heartbeat. I have known this personality type ( I own mirrors) and this performance was on the money.

Even the supporting cast is extraordinarily strong from the crooked lady cop who bribes and extorts Waters into jail, played by Melissa Leo to an underused but brilliant Minnie Driver as Betty’s long-suffering friend Abra Rice.

Director Tony Goldwyn (Mostly TV, Law and Order, Justified) has to be credited with getting strong performances out of the Waters children, Ben and Richard played by Conor Donovan and Owen Campbell. In one very powerful scene the two boys discuss in front of Betty if they would “sacrifice” their lives for each other. It’s a moving moment in a movie filled with those kind of moments and shows that Goldwyn (son of Samuel Goldwyn Jr.-maybe it’s genetic) has a future behind the lens.

The story was true and without spoiling the outcome it’s probably OK to tell you it has a happy ending.

Unfortunately the true story does not have a happy outcome with the real Kenny Waters suffering a fatal fall in 2001, just half a year after his release from prison.

According to an interview in the http://thenewamerican.com/ director Goldwyn was conflicted about including the death in film, ultimately deciding it was not what the story was about.

The film is rated R and does have some too rough for kids crime scene material and some nudity.


Rant D’Jour

There is a move afoot in our fair country to make restaurants post the calories contained in their offerings. The powers that be… more

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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