Thursday, 24 February 2011

Conviction: Movie Review

Conviction: Movie Review

Rating: 4/10
Cast: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher, Melissa Leo
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Hilary Swank stars as Betty Ann Waters in this film which is based on a true story.
Waters is a drop out who's formed a close bond with her brother Kenny (the ever great Sam Rockwell) as they've been shunted from foster home to foster home in their childhoods.
But when Kenny's arrested for murder by Nancy Taylor (Melissa Leo)- and convicted two years after the crime's been committed- Betty Ann feels her life ripped from her.
So, she resolves to put herself through law school with the sole aim of doing whatever it takes to exonerate her brother.
Spurred on by her friend Abra (Driver), Waters contacts the Innocence project, determined to use DNA evidence to get her brother out of jail, despite overwhelming evidence.
Conviction would work better as a TV movie, rather than a big screen outing.
All involved give great performances and it seems unfair to diminish the true story nature of this, but the problem is the film offers nothing new or original to many other similar stories of their ilk.
Granted, it's made perfectly adequately and sees the main duo of Swank and Rockwell acquit themselves decently - but the emotional core of the film appears to have gone AWOL from script to screen.
The moments where you'd expect your heart to leap are curiously flat and presented in a very matter of fact way; and some of the most potentially engaging drama (Waters' marriage falling apart being one) takes place off screen, robbing you of any real involvement. That and the fact that it's not explored that this woman's spent her entire life trying to save her brother and it's cost her everything and you just feel nothing but detachment from what transpires in front of you.

At the end of the day, Conviction has plenty of its own title in it, but it really could have done with a little more courage of its convictions to have soared above the usual fare.

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