As I watched this remarkably well made film based on the true life story of Betty Anne Waters and her miraculous quest to save her brother Kenny from life imprisonment, the words of John 15:13, “greater love hath no man (woman) than this”, galloped continuously through my mind. This is a love story, eighteen years in the gestation process, shorn of boundaries, selfless, inspirational, unbelievable; the quintessential monument to the power of one.
Hilary Swank, as Betty Anne Waters captures her strength, passionate and undaunted belief in her brother’s innocence (the age before DNA testing); years struggling to attain a law agree, sacrificing her marriage, motherhood; hers was a magnificent obsession beyond all barriers of comprehension. Ms. Swank’s capabilities as an actor have matured and evolved with each new endeavor; but my bias extends to her riveting portrayal of Amelia Earhart, in last year’s “Amelia”; where I fall into the rarefied category of “one”!
Sam Rockwell, as the miscreant Kenny Waters is ravaging, overwhelming as the complex man swinging in seconds from devilment to divinity. His unquestioned love for his sister, fostered by an uncaring mother, is the truest and most solid emotion in his turbulent existence.
The film occasionally succumbs to sentimentality but the keen performances, even the minor roles save the tableau: Minnie Driver as her law school friend, Abra Rice; Peter Gallagher as the seasoned lawyer who champions her plight; Melissa Leo, grand as the tough and corrupt police woman, Nancy Taylor; Juliette Lewis, as the alcoholic Roseanna Perry, garnishes the most mesmerizing moment in the film. All add to the legitimacy of this well written (Pamela Gray) and finely directed (Tony Goldwyn) convincing, “Conviction”.
FOUR STARS!!! (Out of Five)
It was vastly appreciated that in my absence many of you recommended films I should view and review. Here they are:
“Waiting for Superman”