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Conviction (2010)

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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.

Director:

Tony Goldwyn

Writer:

Pamela Gray
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Swank ... Betty Anne Waters
Sam Rockwell ... Kenny Waters
Thomas D. Mahard ... Law Professor (as Thomas Mahard)
Owen Campbell ... Ben
Conor Donovan ... Richard
Laurie Brown ... Law Professor 2
John Pyper-Ferguson ... Aidan
Minnie Driver ... Abra Rice
Ele Bardha ... Don
Melissa Leo ... Nancy Taylor
Rusty Mewha Rusty Mewha ... Desk Sergeant
Marc Macaulay ... Officer Boisseau
Bailee Madison ... Young Betty Anne
Tobias Campbell ... Young Kenny
Frank Zieger Frank Zieger ... Boyfriend
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The incredible true story of Betty Anne Waters See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Betty Anne Waters See more »

Filming Locations:

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,351, 17 October 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,783,129, 26 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Betty Anne Waters: I don't deserve a friend like you.
Abra Rice: You damn right, you don't!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.66 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

My Sharona
Written by Doug Fieger (as Douglas Fieger) and Berton Averre
Performed by Andrew Fairgrieve, Robert Piela, Hunter Dixon & Chris Fichter
Licensed by Arrangement with Wise Brothers Music LLC (ASCAP), Eighties Music (ASCAP) and Small Hill Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
.Conviction - one of the best films of the year!
31 October 2010 | by TheMovieGalSee all my reviews

Loyalty: It something we all expect from our loved ones, but we so rarely receive. How loyal would our families be if we were convicted of a crime we were innocent of and sent to prison for the rest of lives? Would they put all their worldly desires away to do everything in their power to see to our injustice? I dare say that I know that it takes a special few that have such perseverance or such conviction.

Hilary Swank stars in the film so aptly titled Conviction. Here again Swank portrays the real-life Betty Ann Waters. Betty Ann's brother, Kenny was convicted of a violent murder in their home town in Massachusetts and sent to prison in 1983. Betty Ann and Kenny grew up in a dysfunctional home and were tossed around to a plethora of foster homes during their childhood and adolescence. The only family they had was each other. Their relationship was so close and intimate that there was no doubt in her mind that her brother was incapable of murder. Kenny was a self-admitted bad boy. He had been arrested so many times in their small community that when Kenny's neighbor turned up murdered it seemed to be an easy assumption that Kenny was the perpetrator of the crime.

Betty Ann had no money for high-paid lawyers and when Kenny tries to kill himself in prison, she came up with a solution to their problem. She will go to college, then law school and then become a lawyer and find the evidence to set her brother free. This sound like a plot made-up in a studio office, but it is the true story of this amazing woman. And, there would be no movie, if Betty Ann's astounding story didn't have a happy ending.

Telling this story is difficult. But the even script by Pamela Gray provides a good point of departure for Tony Goldwyn's direction and the moving performances by the actors. Without hesitation, Hilary Swank is definitely back, her disappointing performance as Amelia Earhart last year could have ended her trip down the red carpet to win Oscar gold forever. Her performance playing Betty Ann is subtle and convincing. But it's not just Hilary Swank's performance that should be noted. Sam Rockwell's portrayal of Kenny Waters is amazing and heart-wrenching. His scenes in prison are remarkable as he so effortlessly depicts the wide range of emotions from complete hopelessness when years of imprisonment wear on him to utter joy when he learns that his sister has done the impossible. And lastly, Minnie Driver makes a great impression playing Betty Ann's law school friend. It's a role that could garner attention at award time, and hopefully will lead to more roles in the future.

Conviction is one of the best films of the year. Its story of never-ending loyalty and love of a sister. It is inspirational and uplifting. This film will make you believe again, that with desire, perseverance and the conviction to never stop trying, almost anything is possible.

For more reviews and news written by Kay Shackleton, see here: www.examiner.com/movie-awards-in-national


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