EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|CONVICTION (director: Tony Goldwyn; screenwriter: Pamela Gray; cinematographer: Adriano Goldman; editor: Jay Cassidy; music: Paul Cantelon; cast: (Betty Anne Waters), (Kenny Waters), (Abra Rice), (Nancy Taylor), Peter Gallagher (), (Mandy Marsh), Loren Dean (Rick), Conor Donovan (Richard), Owen Campbell (Ben), Tobias Campbell (Young Kenny), Bailee Madison (Young Betty Anne), Clea DuVall (Brenda Marsh), Karen Young (Elizabeth Waters), Talia Balsam (Prosecuting Attorney), John Pyper-Ferguson (Aidan), (Roseanna Perry); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Andrew Sugerman/Andrew S. Karsch/Tony Goldwyn; Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2010)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Tony Goldwyn ("A Walk on the Moon"/"Someone
Like You"), whose grandpa was the
noted movie mogul Sam Goldwyn,
bases his drama on a true story,
nevertheless it seems like a hackneyed cable movie of the week. Writer
Pamela Gray fills the story with more cliches than any pic should have.
It seems like it's more of an inspirational sports movie than the tense
drama it's supposed to be about seeking justice after a false
Betty Anne Waters () is victim of being
raised by a neglectful mom (Karen
Young) in a small town in Massachusetts, which resulted in her being a high school
drop-out and raised in a foster home along with her unruly, ne’er-do-well, hot-tempered brother Kenny Waters ().
The close-knit brother and sister were two of nine children sired by
seven different fathers that mom played around with.
In 1982, Kenny is charged
with the 1980 brutal murder of an elderly German woman neighbor, living
in a trailer; and in 1983 is given a life sentence. Betty Ann is
convinced that her brother is
innocent despite the mounting
circumstantial evidence and that her brother never said he's innocent.
Unfortunately Kenny is an unsympathetic character, and has made many
enemies because of his rotten attitude and previous wild behavior.
Local female cop Nancy Taylor ()
is the source of ridicule by Kenny, and sis is convinced she had a part
in the justice system railroading her brother.
In her determination to free
her brother from his life sentence, sis works her way through law
school at the expense of ignoring her two sons (Owen Campbell and Conor Donovan) and long-suffering hubby. They split and he
gains control of the boys when they say they prefer staying with dad.
Betty Anne has renewed hope
when she learns of DNA evidence now being used to overturn older cases,
and eighteen years after the sentencing, when becoming a lawyer,
receives help in presenting the new evidence from her caring law school
classmate (Minnie Driver) and
celebrity lawyer Peter
The unimaginative film, with some decent performances by the leads, fails to be gripping because it's tediously directed and written. If it weren't a true story you would think it was just a contrivance. Though not shown in the film, Kenny was released from prison in March 2001 and died six months later after he fractured his skull in a fall.
REVIEWED ON 12/7/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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