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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Conviction (2010)

Calling a major theatrical release a "TV Movie" is seen as a derogatory term. But actually there are some excellent films made for television. However, CONVICTION accentuates the worst excesses of those "based on a true story" Lifetime movies. Based on the real life case of a man (Sam Rockwell) sentenced to life imprisonment for a brutal murder and how his sister (Hilary Swank) convinced of his innocence devotes her life to proving him innocent including getting a law degree to act as his attorney. Swank excels at these white trash types (good enough to have won two best actress Oscars for playing such characters) but she'd be more impressive if we hadn't seen her do it all before. Rockwell gives a wonderful performance of a boozing troublemaker with attitude who begins to crumble after years of imprisonment. I must say the film boasts some of the best aging make-up (the film follows a 20 year period in which the characters age believably) I've seen. The film could have done without the mawkish score by Paul Cantelon which renders what could have been strong emotional moments to pabulum With Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher, Loren Dean, Karen Young, Clea DuVall and in one of those flashy if brief (2 scenes) "knock it out of the ballpark" performances that get Oscar nominations, Juliette Lewis.

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