Saturday, 16 July 2011


2010 by Tony Goldwyn

One more true story. But I picked up this movie for two reasons, for having Sam Rockwell who is such an underrated actor. He impressed me a lot with just two movies, The Green Mile and Welcome to Collinwood. And the second for Hilary Swanton who was brilliant in Million Dollar Baby.

Bette Anne is a high school drop out, but when her brother Kenny is convicted for murder, a life term without parole, and later tries suicide in the jail, she decides to appear for exams and attend the law school. All this, after having to take care of her two boys as her husband left her complaining about her extra concerns for the brother. It took her 18 long years to achieve her goal. 

Bette Anne and Kenny have such a close relation as siblings. And their love and trust, which is amazingly strong, only grows further as they grow up. So strong that Bette Anne is convinced about the innocense of her brother and is even ready to sacrifice her own life, as recognised by her boys, for the brother. This is a wonderful love and plot for a movie and let me tell you the story as such is really wonderful and also are the performances. But it falls short of being a wonderful movie, sometime after the beginning. It could have been better as a TV show may be, just my thoughts.

For me, I found the movie is quite in lines with Erin Brokovich, where Julia Roberts does nearly the same things as Ms. Swanton in this movie, except for not going to law school. Sure, the background of the subject is quite different, but the line of progression of the plot is almost the same. Both the movies also have only one or two court room scenes even. EB, I found as a wonderful biopic, another true story, but Conviction falls short as a movie. But we will be still quite convinced about the story, the love between the brother and sister and the performance. Let me repeat, this is a touching story. To know that it happened for real, that a man spend 18 years in jail, without parole, inspite of being innocent and his sister went through all the process of being an advocate just to prove his innocense is really a wonderful story. It lost its charm somewhere in the script to be a touching movie and nor did the director could make it up.

As I expected, its the performance that makes this movie special. Hilary Swanton was really good. Even Melissa Leo as the crooked cop and Juliette Lewis as the girl friend of Kenny, who gave false testimony resulting in his conviction, were brilliant. Two characters who had only few scenes, but really made an impression. But the man of the show is definitely Sam Rockwell as Kenny. Brilliant performance. He was brilliant in The Green Mile and wonderful in Welcome to Collinwood too. But this is quite a different character and he had to perform an array of different emotions in all his meetings with Ms. Swanton in the jail and he simply excelled in all of them. Truly brilliant show. It is a pity Hollywood doesn't offer him good opportunities.

The final frame of the movie, Kenny and Bette Anne having coffee by the lake, was really beautiful.

In the real life, Kenny died of an accident just after 6 months of his release, as a free man