A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.
Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who arrested along with him and ... See full summary »
Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
In various scenes where Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell's characters are meeting in the jail, the Sprite that Hilary drinks from has the new logo from 2005 consisting of two yellow and green "halves" forming an "S" lemon/lime design. This logo had not yet been created during the implied times of these scenes. See more »
I've been wanting to watch Tony Goldwyn's 'Conviction' for a long time. Now movies like this have been done before. While there is the story of 'guilty until proved innocent' but what makes this one stand out is the authenticity with which the brother-sister relationship is portrayed. One doesn't see many Hollywood movies explore sibling relationships unless it's in the form of mockery like 'Stepbrothers'. There are but a very few exceptions like Kenneth Lonergan's beautiful 'You Can Count On Me'.
Swank and Rockwell are very convincing as sister and brother. Their on screen interlude appears very natural and this only makes Betty Anne's determination to prove her brother's innocence all the more believable. Needless to say, both actors are at their best and they are supported wonderfully by Melissa Leo (who plays a bent copper), Juliette Lewis (she seems to have mastered playing trailer-trash characters), Clea Duvall (the lying wife), Minnie Driver (the charming friend) and Peter Gallagher.
One can easily relate to Swank's Betty Anne struggling with the bureaucratic legal system and her drive to free her brother. Unless one has money or the right contacts, one can recognize the situations where Betty Anne is passed over from one administration to another.
'Conviction' is a compelling watch. It involves the viewer right from the very beginning and even though you can predict the ending, it's Betty Anne and Kenny's faith in each other that keeps you hooked.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?