"Conviction does give us more beard throughout the Movie, and a quite horrible one, that Rockwell yet again pulls off at the end, but overall, it’s a pretty beard-tastic movie!" Getter at MettelRay.com said. Well, if that's not enough to make me want to watch a movie, I don't know what is.
Anyway, Conviction is about two siblings, Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) and Kenny (Sam Rockwell) who have always been very close to each other. When Kenny is arrested and eventually convicted of the brutal murder of a woman, Betty Anne, who firmly believe in her brother's innocence, puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother and prove his innocence.
It's a very simple and yet interesting Story that feels authentic not only because it's based on a true story --even though it sounds like it's a made-up story-- but because of what it is: not a courtroom drama --okay, it's that too-- but the portrait of a wonderful brother-sister relationship. That's the centre and the heart of the movie. There's nothing special about the legal drama aspect of the movie, actually, it's pretty average there, but the relationship is so good it will keep you glued to the screen.
So, Conviction isn't only the story of the American justice system failing, but it's the story of loyalty and devotion of a sister who loves her brother so much she does more than her best to help him. I don't know how faithful the film is to the true story, but the struggles this woman endures to become a lawyer to save her brother is inspirational and uplifting, to say the least.
As for the characters, they may be flat and one-dimensional, even the siblings, but their bond is so strong it makes up for that. And the credits entirely go to the actors playing them, Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell. They both give great performances --Swank is intense, dramatic but never over the top, and Rockwell delivers the hopelessness and fear of being let down and screwed by the state to perfection-- and their chemistry is on fire. Seriously, it is so genuine and real, it feels like watching real siblings on screen.
|Fox Searchlight Pictures|
Tony Goldwyn's direction though didn't make me very happy. I liked that he decided to give us pieces of Betty Anne and Kenny's childhood to show how they developed such a strong bond, why they love each other so much, but I did not like that, at the end of the movie, we are told what happened to Betty Anne but nothing about Kenny who, after spending 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, died in a tragic accident only 6 months after being released. This made the film look like a biography of Betty Anne and gave me the feeling the filmmakers didn't care about Kenny at all.