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Thursday, September 30, 2010

CONVICTION: Movie Review



I normally wouldn't take the time out to "blog" about a movie, but after an amazing preview screening last night, I had to quickly write my review to help promote this movie about the American legal system.

FYI - "Conviction" hits general theaters on October 15, 2010.


I have free passes for all interested to a screening next Thursday, 10/7/2010, 7:30 pm, at the Grove. Please email me if you are interested.


Conviction Movie Review
by Attorney Kelly Chang Rickert

It starts with his, and ends with hers.

"Conviction" is an aptly-named movie about an innocent man, Kenneth Waters (Sam Rockwell), who endured and lost a criminal trial for murder, and subsequent appeals. With no money (so no lawyer), his baby sister Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank), takes on the job - finishes high school, college, law school and passes the bar, to become his attorney. With newly-established DNA law and evidence, she is able to release him.

It only took 18 years, but Betty Anne was able to successfully set aside the wrongul conviction.

The legal system isn't all too easy on folks with modest means (my favorite line in the movie is by Abra Rice, played by the beautiful Minnie Driver - "The legal system is so f'cking inconvenient!!")

Inconvenient, yes. Not for the weak, yes.

But justice IS served at the end - and that is my favorite part of the movie.

I have practiced law for over a decade (and will likely practice for 2 more), and this is by far one of my favorite law movies of all time. It presents a naked version of the legal system - hoop-hopping, paper-pushing, and sometimes corrupt.

The many obstacles faced by Kenneth and Betty Anne can really put a damper on the legal system. But the movie ends the way it should - with justice, and teaches us that fierce determination and a strive for justice will defeat any travesty.

The movie speaks loudly to me as an attorney. I distinctly recall June 5, 2000 - the day I was sworn to practice law for the good. I took an oath to fight for justice. Without movies such as "Conviction", it is very simple to see how that message gets eroded over years of paperwork, deadlines, and procedural BS. It reminds me to look past all that - and DO GOOD.

The movie also speaks to me as a tax-paying citizen, a wife, and a mother. I loved the inspirational message of hard work overcoming any difficult circumstances. (Law school was hard for ME, and I was 21 years old, unmarried, no children AND receiving subsidies from my parents!) I am very fond of the message that ANYONE, even a poor single mom of 2 can become an attorney, and FIGHT for justice.

Finally, I loved the very real portrayal the American legal system. It can be big and scary, but you can work your butt off, and it JUST may pay off.

The title was very clever - a true double-entendre, and the movie came full circle - beginning with his conviction, ending with hers.

I've always loved my job, but damn, after seeing this movie, I gotta stand up and say, "I AM PROUD TO BE A LAWYER".

1 comment:

David said...

Very interesting point of view kelly. I sent a connection to you on linkedin. Very impressive.
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