Con­vic­tion,

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images -

There isn’t enough ev­i­dence to hold him. But a cou­ple of years later, the cops pull Kenny in again for the same crime, this time armed with some damn­ing tes­ti­mony from a cou­ple of ex-girl­friends who will swear in court that he boasted of hav­ing com­mit­tede the murder.

His sis­ter Betty Anne (Hi­lary Swank) is a bar­maid with a cou­ple of chil­dren. She’s mar­ried to a nice guy named Rick (Loren Dean). Like most ev­ery­one, Rick likes Kenny, and is will­ing to give him the ben­e­fit of the doubt but only up to a point. When Betty Anne starts study­ing up to go to law school on a quixotic mis­sion to ex­on­er­ate her brother, Rick has had enough. Ob­ses­sion in the ser­vice of a noble cause is ad­mirable, but it comes at a price.

The film’s jum­bled nar­ra­tive struc­ture even­tu­ally be­gins to straighten out, and we pro­ceed with more sin­gle­ness of pur­pose as Betty Anne goes to law school, vis­its Kenny in prison, gets dis­cour­aged, gets an­gry, gets tear­ful, skips classes, misses as­sign­ments, en­coun­ters set­backs, and strug­gles, strug­gles, strug­gles.

Un­der­stand that any un­der­tone of ex­as­per­a­tion that may creep into this re­view is not a re­flec­tion on the im­pres­sive­ness of the real Betty Anne’s amaz­ing ac­com­plish­ment. It’s a re­flec­tion on the earnest te­dious­ness of the movie, which, de­spite its com­pelling premise and its fine per­for­mances, even­tu­ally sinks un­der the set­back-and-tri­ump­hand-set­back repet­i­tive­ness of its Sisyphean story.

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