What lengths would you go to in order to save an innocent sibling from a lifetime in jail? Betty Anne Waters became a lawyer just to prove her brother’s innocence. This real life story is exactly what Hollywood goes after and the product is “Conviction.”
When Kenny Waters (Sam Rockwell) is wrongfully convicted of murder, his sister, Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) cannot accept the injustice. The murder happened in the early 1980s before DNA testing was around. Deciding that no one else wants to help her brother, she chooses to become a lawyer. She finally gets her GED, goes through college and enrolls in Law school. All the while, she is working as a bartender, raising two sons, and visiting her brother weekly in jail.
“Conviction” is well paced. At first, it gets a bit confusing with the time sequences. We are shown flashbacks of Betty Anne and her brother as children. Those flashbacks are absolutely necessary to the film. You see how close the siblings are, and it reaffirms your belief in Kenny’s innocence. Other flashbacks show the time revolving the murder and trial. But once you get farther into the movie, it becomes less confusing and more engrossing. All the elements start to fit together.
No surprises when it comes to the acting. Swank, Rockwell, and company show us once again how talented they are. The director, Tony Goldwyn, manages to make a film like this more cinematic and less Lifetime TV movie.
“Conviction” is a good movie. It remains interesting throughout the film. I would not say it is my favorite film of this season. (That belongs undoubtedly to “The Social Network.”) However, it is one of the better films I’ve seen this year. Obviously, it’s a great family movie. So, young folks, go have some nice family bonding time and see this movie.
“Conviction” is now playing in theaters.