Running Time: 107 minutes
Monday, February 21, 2011
The film is based on the true story of Betty Anne Walters (Hilary Swank) who embarks on a law degree in order to free her brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) who was convicted of murder in 1983. Consumed on proving his innocence and protecting her sibling, Betty is willing to sacrifice her own family life with her husband Rick (Loren Dean). Befriended by mature-aged fellow law student Abra Rice (Minnie Driver) she learns of Attorney Barry Schenk (Peter Gallagher) of the Innocence Project, a non for profit organisation devoted to overturning wrongful convictions. However even if they find the DNA evidence is Kenny actually not guilty?
Directed by Tony Goldwyn (episodes of Dexter) with screenplay by Pamela Gray, it comes across as mediocre if not for the fact it is based on a true story. The bonds between families particularly those formed out of adversity are explored which does help to give this simple script a bit of meat. Swank (Million Dollar Baby) puts in a solid performance but is overshadowed by Rockwell (Moon) who steals the film. Even Melissa Leo’s(The Fighter) small part as arresting police officer Nancy Taylor manages to shine more than Swank. Minnie Driver who hasn’t really done much of note since Good Will Hunting is just her usual annoying self. Overall it just doesn’t rise above that made for TV feel despite Rockwell’s powerful and emotive portrayal.