The tragic and controversial story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas for killing his three children after scientific evidence and expert testimony that bolstered his claims of innocence were suppressed.
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The film takes place in Texas. Cameron Todd Willingham is accused of triple killing of his children killed in a fire. The man denies his guilt and claims that he loved his daughters more than life. However, the court sentenced him to death. For eight long years, Cameron has been on death row, and soon he will be executed. His business is interested by Elizabeth Gilbert, who all her life leads an implacable struggle with the system.Written by
Despite proof provided by well regarded scientists and experts, Todd's wife, Stacey (Willingham) Kuykendall, believes he is guilty of the murders of Amber, Karmon, and Kameron. See more »
During one of Elizabeth's visits to Cameron in prison, he states that his parents would never visit because it was a one way trip from Oklahoma of 1200 miles. That is near double the actual mileage from anywhere in Oklahoma to Huntsville. See more »
Cameron Todd Willingham:
Thanks to you, I have tried to make my peace. You showed me that love is always there if you just open yourself to it. You helped me to learn to enjoy the simple blessings of being alive.
See more »
How Forever Feels
Written by Wendell Mobley and Carl Mullins
Performed by Kenny Chesney
Courtesy of BNA Records & Sony Music Nashville
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment See more »
A true crime story where the truest crime is his conviction.
Director Edward Zwick and writer Geoffrey Fletcher movingly craft a biopic about convicted killer Cameron Todd Willingham (Jack O'Connell) in the late nineties executed for killing his three children in a fire. While there are multiple instances of the filmmakers morphing incidents to make strong their case against capital punishment in Texas, the impressive facts in the case swayed the jury and the parole board and the public.
Yet Elizabeth Gilbert (Laura Dern), a Houston playwright, befriends him and finds strong evidence that he may have had a weak defense, local justice withheld proof of innocence, and forensic evidence showing no arson, was all garnered too late. Although more than half of the film is spent on unnecessary setup, when the biopic gets to Liz unearthing new evidence, it becomes on fire, so to speak.
That last half has moments of tension while at the same time following the Hollywood formula of manipulating music, questionable coincidences, and charming convict. Although clearly the filmmakers make the case that his case was bungled, they also make sure to depict Todd as a redneck loudmouth unlikeable by any stretch, until, that is, he has time to educate himself and be contrite.
Dern and O'Connell are convincing in their roles as unlikely friends, with a hint of romance, the film's singular weakness being not connecting them earlier and getting to the evidence gathering sooner.
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