Another film fest and another disappointing, soupy Oscar-bait flick starring Hilary Swank. She plays Betty Anne Waters, a middle-aged mother who put herself through her GED, college and then law school in order to represent her brother and over-turn his murder conviction. It's a two hour film that reads like a police/court procedural, where plucky little Betty Ann digs out evidence and outs corruption with her can-do, no-nonsense attitude. She has a best-friend with a heart of gold (Minnie Driver) and understanding teenage kids with hearts of gold, and a New York injustice-fighter (Peter Gallacher) with a heart of gold. It's all so bloody banal and twee and Hallmark TV afternoon movie I wondered what the frack it was doing in a Film Festival. Neither Tony Goldwyn's direction nor Pamela Gray's script ever move beyond hammy cliche. The only, only things elevating this movie beyond utter mediocrity are a small cameo from Juliette Lewis, as usual, typecast as a skank, and a scene-stealing role for Sam Rockwell as the charismatic incarcerated brother. Avoid at all costs.
CONVICTION played Toronto 2010 and is on release in the US. It opens in Belgium on December 1st, in Germany on February 24th 2011 and in the Netherlands on March 24th.