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After the horrific death of his wife and two sons, suicide seems to be the only escape for small-town attorney Kent "Mac" McClain... until he's assigned a capital punishment case that begins to transform his life and those around him forever. Written by
If one sees The Trial on DVD or on a television broadcast, hasten to assure yourselves you will not be seeing the Orson Welles film The Trial or a remake thereof. If you see it stars Matthew Modine than make sure you catch it.
The film opens with Modine who has been unable to come to grips with the death of his wife and children ready to blow the top of his head off with a revolver. As he's ready to do the deed, a phone call comes.
It's from Judge Rance Howard who wants to get Modine back in the among the living and in the practice of his profession. He appoints him the defense attorney of young Randy Wayne who is accused of the murder of his sweetheart, the daughter of a prominent family in the area. He plied her with 'roofies' to loosen her inhibitions and he's taken them himself. When he came down he finds himself with her dead body and no memory of the crime at all.
He gets all his courtroom skills back, it's like riding a bicycle, once learned it all comes back. But this is a tough case and he needs the assistance of psychologist Claire Carey, research assistant Nikki Deloach and most of all Robert Forster his late wife's brother for some heavy muscle and a bit of detective work. The answer is quite a bit more involved than a case of 'roofies' gone bad.
Modine who also produced this gives a carefully delineated performance of a lawyer being brought back to life in his profession and every day living. In the end he has reason to thank the Deity for being spared in the tragedy that overtook his family.
The Trial has the look and feel of a television pilot and I'm sure Matthew Modine is trying to sell it to one of the networks. I do hope he succeeds.
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