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This film excels at conjuring the ambiguity in a troubling case.
As the movie tells it, Mary Winkler shot her husband in the back after he would not help her out of a financial mess that he gotten her into. Mary had had about enough of a man who'd beaten and abused her sexually, but, as Selmer, Tenn.'s upstanding pastor, was expert at hiding all that.
Rose McGowan, though far more glamorous than the real-life mother of three at the heart of the story, does well as a timid woman who doesn't even believe she deserves a defense. Michael Shanks has a small role as her husband but is believable.
Since Mary was the sole witness to so much of what she claims to have endured, we, her lawyer, her jury, and her community must base our judgments on her version alone. As the film tells it, Mary's oldest daughter, about 12 at the time of the killing, remains a voice of skepticism. The scene in which she challenges her mother as to why they were not calling the police is powerful and really gets one thinking.
The movie's final scene is a little chilling. Has Mary changed since serving a short term in jail and returning to everyday life in her quiet town? Or was she always that way?
In all, this was very well done.
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