Conviction 2010 Movie Scene Hilary Swank as Betty Anne Waters crying after her brother is taken away to jail

Conviction [2010]

We all know how the justice system works in the US. If you have the money you can get away with literally murder. I’m not going to name names but I’m sure you already have a couple popping in your head. Conviction is a compelling and, at times, a bit melodramatic drama about a sister trying to get her brother’s wrongful conviction overturned. It’s based on a true story writer Pamela Gray spent eight years adapting into a script. In fact, the real Betty Waters, sister of the convicted Kenny, said “The movie is so true to life. Not every scene happened, but every emotion happened.”

Conviction opens with a bloody murder scene showing the horrific severity of the crime that demands justice. And if you can’t find justice in the appropriate amount of time, any troublemaker will do. In this case, Kenny Waters, a poor and uneducated petty criminal fits the bill perfectly. And I think you already know what’s going to happen next. The case itself highlights not only how the justice system works but also who it targets. And hopefully, this will help the general population try to fix this. Oh, who am I kidding, that’s clearly not going to happen any time soon.

In the meantime, we can at least learn more about these things. Who knows, maybe you’ll be a member of a jury in the future and this case might help you make the right decision. Of course, what makes Conviction work, apart from the script, is the cast. We have Hilary Swank and my new favorite actor Sam Rockwell in the lead roles. And both of them gave convincing performances. The bond between siblings is incredibly strong and it was so compelling to watch become even stronger over the years. It’s quite extraordinary and inspirational what one determined person can do in this strange world of ours.

Luckily, Conviction is a relatively short movie with a running time of just 100 minutes. I say this because some of the scenes feel a bit too long and too emotional. Then again, this is coming from a hardcore cynic who’s not used to dealing with emotions. And yes, I am a man, and we were taught to push all those emotions down in a nice knot in our belly. And yes, I am working on those issues. Moving on, all the technical details were great. This means that editing, camerawork, and cinematography were all working in unison to generate that “big legal drama atmosphere”.

Although I shouldn’t say legal because this certainly isn’t one of those courtroom dramas. You know the ones I’m talking about where the lawyers go back and forth in the court. Conviction is a movie focusing on raw emotions and the impact of the initial wrongful conviction. We see poor Kenny in prison, sitting there surrounded by all the other inmates who are “innocent”. And we also see her sister sacrificing everything in an effort to get him out of there. I already mentioned that I’m a hardcore cynic but even I was quite emotional during some of the scenes.

Director: Tony Goldwyn

Writer: Pamela Gray

Cast: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Thomas D. Mahard, Owen Campbell, Conor Donovan

Fun Facts: The movie about this case became a hot topic in Hollywood after 60 Minutes aired the episode about Betty Waters and her brother back in 2002.


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