Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I don’t often make my way down to the cinema, but after watching the trailer of ‘Conviction’ I didn’t want to let it slip through my fingers.

When Kenneth Waters is sentenced to life in prison for murder, his sister Betty Anne is convinced there has been a miscarriage of justice. But without the legal aid to turn to Betty Anne works her way through the GED, a bachelor's, a master's in education, and eventually a law degree. Once she passes the bar she discovers that she still has many hoops to jump through before she can get her brother’s case brought to retrial.

True story.

Bam, it just blows my mine recapping it. Plus a film with Sam Rockwell in it how could it go wrong?

After watching it, I was left a tad bit underwhelmed. Sam Rockwell was fantastic, yet it felt like eating a stale ginger snap biscuit – dry and difficult to swallow.

Not only can Hillary Swank act her way out of a paper bag, she could play a paper bag. She completely embodies any character including Betty Anne, who is so consumed by the task of freeing her brother she almost becomes a robot. She studies insane hours, barely refuels, has no down time and just gets on with it without any emotion.

This made the pace of the film laborious to the extent it felt more like an extremely long television miniseries. A drab, monotone miniseries.

Betty Anne’s intense drive could have been explored in more depth, as while the film felt long, it glossed over so many fascinating plot points which would have helped humanise Betty Anne - the disintegration of her marriage, her foster care childhood, juggling children and studying for an undergrad, the stress of the bar exam, the mental decline of her brother in prison.

Even though I’m extremely biased as a bookworm – I really do think that it would work better as a book written from Betty Anne’s perspective. To get inside Betty Anne’s head would be a privilege, as it really is a series of fascinating events.

While I don't think it's a fantastic film, I do think it's worth the ticket price to see Juliette Lewis's bit part in the film, it's stale ginger snap and more like a chocolate coated coffee bean - peppery, oddball and explosive.

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