In California, Cate McCall is an alcoholic lawyer who was on probation and rehab. She had an argument with a judge who made her take a breathalyzer test and put her on probation in a small office. Cate is also fighting to recover custody of her daughter who lives with her father, who is moving to Seattle. Cate is assigned to defend Lacey Stubbs, who has appealing against her wrongful conviction of murdering another woman on the basis of a since there was a trial error. Further, Lacey also tells that she was raped by a guard in the prison. Cate, who has never lost a case, investigates the case with her friend Bridges and they find evidence that might prove that Lacey is innocent and that her case had been fabricated. But is she really innocent?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This film had some potential, but a lack of decent characters other than our heroine hampers its dramatic development.
Kate Beckinsale plays the title role in The Trials Of Cate McCall and she's an alcoholic lawyer whose main confidante is her AA sponsor Nick Nolte who looks like a hippie refugee from the Sixties. She's on a kind of probation from the bar association and gets assigned a real dog of a case from Anna Annissimova who's in jail for a brutal murder with lesbian overtones.
Wouldn't you know it Beckinsale becomes a true believer and uncovers enough procedural errors in front of Judge James Cromwell an old law professor of her's to get the verdict set aside. The cops don't take it well and she's put through quite a ringer. Beckinsale is also having custodial issues with her ex-husband.
Beckinsale's comeback is assured, but the film is far from over.
I think with a bit better writing this could have been a major triumph. Beckinsale's character was too self indulgent and inclined to spend a lot of time on the pity pot. Nolte was interesting however, his character obviously based on William Kunstler.
Passable drama, but nothing more.
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