Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son. Written by
I saw this movie twice with two different friends who wanted to go. I thought it was great the first time and even better the second. The second time I watched from the perspective of believing Mary was guilty and was surprised that I enjoyed it even more that time. Robin Wright and James McAvoy do an amazing job in portraying real, complicated human beings. Kevin Kline seems villainous, but can also be read as a strong man in the grip of emotion and overwhelming responsibility. The cast is riveting, with breathtakingly well-done small and large parts. Couldn't take my eyes off Stephen Root and John Collum during their time on the screen. I enjoyed it and it got me thinking. There's real subtlety here -- art and history brought together.
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