Betty Anne Waters (Swank) spent half of her life trying to free her brother Kenny (Rockwell) from a life sentence without parole when he was wrongly convicted of murder. She put herself though Law school and became a lawyer to help him get out.
We are shown in flashback mode the events leading up to Kenny’s arrest. Including the closeness of Betty Anne and Kenny as brother and sister, obviously a massively important aspect of the story. We have to understand how close they are in order for it all to make sense why she is fighting and lost so many things in her life to help free her brother.
A few different thinking points are brought up from this film. The first has to be thinking if you would be willing to do the same for your sibling. Another has to doubt the way the legal system used to work wondering how many innocent people have been convicted for something they did not do.
I have to admit that throughout the film I was doubting Kenny’s innocence as he was never actually asked if he done the murder. This leaves a slight doubt in the viewers mind, or it did in mine at least. I was starting to believe he might have actually killed the woman.
Another plus for me in this film was Minnie Driver as Betty Anne’s friend, I am not usually her biggest fan but really did enjoy her contribution in this role. Hilary Swank was impressive as ever in a film which really relies on her performance. One thing though her accent was really Massachusetts was it? But we can slide by that small factor. Sam Rockwell also impresses again, we seem to see a great side of him when he is locked up in jail, creepy as that may seem.
The finding of the evidence which is such a key factor really makes the audience want to hug the woman when she appears with the box. This also helps us see that trying to get something sorted over a telephone call does not work, as they had tried a few times and the response was “we have already checked, it must have been destroyed” such a horrible attitude when a man’s freedom was at stake.
Overall, I found this to be a very watchable and emotional journey as we see the characters grow and the lengths a sister will go for her brother to be freed. When everyone else stopped believing and were influenced by the police, a siblings love would fight until the very end, until justice was served.