Jaw set resolutely forward but upper lip aquiver with emotion, Hilary Swank plays a remarkable crusader for justice in Conviction, a stirring true-story drama based on one of the US legal system’s all too many miscarriages of justice.
Her character, Betty Anne Waters, is an uneducated barmaid in Massachusetts who embarks on an epic 18-year quest to free her brother after he is falsely convicted of murder.
Kenny (played with live-wire energy by Sam Rockwell) may be a rowdy ne’er do well, but Betty Anne is convinced of his innocence after the police, on the flimsiest of evidence, pin on him the murder of a neighbour.
With Kenny sentenced to life without hope of parole, Betty Anne devotes her life to exonerating him and sets out to qualify as a lawyer in order to take on his case.
It’s a remarkable, genuinely inspirational story. True, Tony Goldwyn’s direction is a little one-dimensional, but vivid supporting performances from Minnie Driver (loyal friend), Melissa Leo (vengeful cop) and Juliette Lewis (treacherous ex) prevent things from getting overly earnest and plodding.
Released on DVD & Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on 30th May.