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
Once again Kate Beckinsale plays a solid, fully realized protagonist in yet another uneven but intriguing film. The Trials Of Cate McCall is an episodic courtroom drama in where the cases which defence attorney Beckinsale works kind of take a backseat to, and even reflect the issues she faces in her personal life. She's been disbarred from practising law some time ago, also losing the custody of her daughter. With the help of her ex lawyer father (a crusty, scene stealing Nick Nolte), she begins the long road to personal and professional redemption, starting with a tricky case involving the alleged violent sexual assault of a wayward girl (a deft, unsettling Ana Schafer). Sounds great, right? Unfortunately not. It's certainly interesting, but it squander valuable time on scenes which should be brisk and tightly wound, providing bloated segments where there could be high drama. When it's solid it's solid though, especially with Beckinsale's work. Supporting turns include James Cromwell as a not so honest judge, Clancy Brown as a stern D.A., Mark Pellegrino as a crass detective implicated in the heinous crime, and other work from Dale Dickey, Isiah Washington and Kathy Baker. Despite its inconsistencies, it manages to hold interest through selected performances that are marvellous, and some perfectly timed third act plot turns that sheds new light on everything that came before it. As far as courtroom flicks go, you can do both a lot better and a lot worse in checking this one out.
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