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.
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
Although the family of the murder victim Katharina Brow requested a meeting with producer/star Hilary Swank, that has not happened. They have hired Gloria Allred with intention to sue Swank for not consulting them or putting their mother "in a better light." See more »
At one point Betty Anne Waters Hilary Swank tells Kenny Sam Rockwell that it's a good thing Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty or he could already be dead. This however is incorrect. Massachusetts still had the death penalty in 1983, when Kenny was convicted. It was abolished the following year in 1984. See more »
Heaven & Hell
Written by Angela McCluskey (as McCluskey) / Scott Roewe (as Roewe)
Performed by Wild Colonials
Licensed by Arrangement with St Bernadette Music (ASCAP) and Give A Wave Music (BMI)
Administered by Bug Music
Courtesy of DGC Records, Inc. by arrangement with Universal Music 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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