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.
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
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
Screenwriter Pamela Gray says she doesn't believe the awards or critics; she knows if her projects are well received by listening in the theater ladies' room after a showing. See more »
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 »
Solid performances, poignant real-life story, but average movie.
Difficult to write anything negative about such an triumphant story. The New York Times ran an touching article October last year regarding the real-life story of Betty Anne Waters, a single-mom who put herself through college and law school to exonerate her brother. Much has also been said about the incredible performances of Hillary Swank and Sam Rockwell, but supporting roles from Minnie Driver and Melissa Leo (I'm glad she's getting recognition since Homicide Life on the Street) are no less vibrant. So why the average rating?
The level of drama does not rise above Hallmark Made-for-TV movies. The plot, story pacing, and overall tone of the film are very one- dimensional. There are too few moments where we see these characters interact on any level that's not (melo)dramatic. My favorites scene involves Minnie Driver and Hillary Swank shopping for groceries. It's the only time these characters feel real.
I keep thinking Conviction has the premise of a David E. Kelley TV series, where the Kenny-theme could serve as a season long arc. The characters are interesting enough, but I was hoping for so much more. Conviction is by no means a bad film, but it's not a very good one either.
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