Conviction tells the incredible true story of Kenny Waters being wrongly imprisoned for a crime that he didn’t commit and follows his sisters journey to become a lawyer and ultimately set him free. It was simply because I am a fan of Sam Rockwell that I came across this film, but im so pleased that I have now heard this story and much like the recent film ‘Philomena’ the story is the real star here.
Films based on true stories have such an advantage over those based around fiction, the fact that the characters you are watching are real people and these things really happened to them brings an entire new dimension to film, and Conviction certainly had this edge. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to the Waters childhood and I thought that the child actors did a brilliant job of portraying this brother and sister relationship – however once the flashbacks began to come closer to the current time on occasions it was hard to work out if it was a flashback or not, however this was only a small issue.
Both leads did fantastic jobs here, both Swank and Rockwell performed well and were very convincing. The way in which Rockwell aged while in prison was also very well done and added to the overall presentation of the film. Melissa Leo, while only having limited screen time had a very sinister presence and brings a real edge to this character, making you dislike her much the directors intention im sure. The supporting cast are also a good addition to the film and help to create that sense of struggle that is so evident here. However at times I think the emotion and the feelings of the characters could have been drawn out slightly more for a more effective cinematic experience however Conviction surely has a crescendo of emotion towards the finale, which does justice to this wonderful story.
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Seeming to stay very true to the original story
BIGGEST FLAW – Some confusion caused over flashbacks
Rating – 9/10
Just an aside to my review, upon some research into this true story I discovered that sadly Kenny Waters died 6 months after he was released from prison. In the article I have linked below there is some discussion as to whether or not this section of the Waters story should have been included. Ultimately I think that the correct decision was made, however it makes an interesting topic for debate.