Betty Waters a waitress /law student/mum, kind of like a superwoman on her own, Kenny a lovable guy, good dad and decent husband. Kenny and Betty are siblings who grew up thick as thieves even after they grew up. Leading happy lives amidst all hardships, same as any middle class family in society, Kenny a lovable but a tough guy has a temper; a temper leads him into a confession during an argument with his wife. Fast forward a few years and that confession he made gets him arrested on the day of his grandfather’s funeral. The authority disrespectfully, walks up the isle during the funeral service in church arrests Kenny Waters disrupting the entire service and disrespecting the dead( taken out of true incidents this is a shocking revelation of how the law enforcements back in the day was in the state of Massachusetts). Kenny is tried for the murder of Katharina Brown and is found guilty of first degree murder and is sentenced for life. The state of Massachusetts not having the death penalty at that point of time saves him the death sentence. Betty who loves her brother dearly believes him and that he was unjustly sentenced for a crime he did not commit and pursues and appeals however loses again. Betty who is fanatical over her brothers freedom works her way through law school and passes the bar exams and becomes a qualified attorney and represents her own brother in another struggle to save him from his sentence and reunite him with his family, sadly she finds out that all the evidence that are over 10 years old is destroyed in the state of Massachusetts. Did she spend her life pursuing this yearning at the cost of her own family for nothing?
Based on a true story “Conviction” is a wonderful story that has very profound issues discussed in it. Academy award winner Hillary Swank is outright convincing as the exasperated Betty Waters and she really works up the emotions in the viewer and gets us to relate with her emotions of a sister who is fighting for her brothers’ freedom. She puts her life on hold for Kenny, which does not seem fair from one perspective since she is giving priority to her brother and not her kids, in a perfect world this is quite infrequent, but we should not forget this amazing story did happen in reality and Hillary Swank really lives it through. Minnie Driver who plays Abraham who turns out to be Bettys’ only friend from law college does a good convincing job as well, although her character did not really have to pull any heavy weight. Sam Rockwell (Sam the Man!)…… What can I say; I am surprised that this man has not won an Oscar yet, not even a nod. He is just on the game all the time, the love, the laughter, the anger, the pain, the misery, the depression, he nails it on! He is so switched on and is flawless. I love watching this man at arduous portrayals as this.
How do you spend 16 years in jail? Sam Rockwell is just the actor, but imagines the real Kenneth Waters who watched his whole life pass by in that cell. Who was in prison knowing that he will never see his daughter Mandy again? The days he will never get back, its true justice that this movie was picked up by director Tony Goldwyn and made known to the world.; isn’t it? If this is the USA that boasts equality and lush humans’ rights, how many more people must be unjustly sentenced and how many would be exonerated in countries where the infrastructure alone cannot hold a proper system of law?
Directed by : Tony Goldwyn
Starring: Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell & Minnie Driver
Rated: R for language and some violent images