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A movie directed by David Jones

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Confessions are sometimes implied

  • Aug 28, 2000
Pros: .....

Cons: ........

This is the story of one man's love. Sometimes moving in order of importance, his loves are his work, his God, his son, and just sometimes his wife. Ben Kingsley is that man.

This is the story of one woman's devotion. Sometimes moving in order of importance, her devotion is her son, her God and her husband. Amy Irving is that woman.

This is the story of one man's corruption. Never moving in order of importance, his corruptions include his work, his wallet, himself, his values and his beliefs. Alec Baldwin is that man.

Due to the forces that rule our universe, these three lives come together after Kingsley murders the doctor, nurse and intern he feels are responsible for the death of his son. Baldwin will be his defense attorney.

While this movie is typical Hollywood fare, the message is not. As Kingsley tells Baldwin, when Baldwin begins to question his own validity.....'Think of the one thing you cannot leave behind you and this will be the force that rules your life. My son's death was the thing I could not leave behind'.....

You will find this movie has a deeply religious feel to it yet it does not preach. The characters, Irving and Kingsley, accept their faith as a constant in their lives. Indeed, it is Kingsleys' religious roots that brings him to the confession block. While he realizes what he has done goes against God's morals, he accepts his punishment as just. There is a little adultery between Irving and Baldwin and Kingsley accepts that as well, knowing he has failed her throughout their marriage.

As these three people from different views of life meld into one character, you observe a powerful force. Kingsley is devout and dedicated, Irving considers her life simply an extension of her husbands and sons, Baldwin is the epitome of the slime attorney. It is an interesting study to watch these people redefine themselves. There is an underlying theme of corruption throughout the movie - moral corruption, political corruption and personal corruption.

Irving was not exactly brilliant in this movie, but very believable. She has aged well since her Honeysuckle Rose days and plays this part with outstanding diligence. If, in the end, her part seems to fall down I don't think it is her ability but the script. Baldwin is just cute enough to pull off the smart, successful, sexy, slimy attorney. While he isn't powerful in the movie, he certainly is more than just eye candy.

Kingsley, however, is another matter. At times his expressions show such abject despair it breaks your heart. He is such an accomplished actor that he seldom needs words to convey his feelings. Although this is not a life altering release for him, I felt his true emotions were able to simmer under the surface here.

You get the feeling of Cher in Suspect with this movie as the ending rolls toward you. And as Baldwin says to a cohort about why he does what he does in the end.......'It was the one thing I couldn't put behind me'......

Five stars for a sleeper!


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Susi Dawson ()
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Live your life with the goal to 'pay it forward' and do one good thing for someone else
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About this movie


Baldwin plays a powerful New York litigator who is hired to defend a murderer who avenged his young son's death. The ensuing moral battle - whether or not he should win the case and achieve success, or listen to his client and strive to tell the truth - threatens to break him. Which will he decide?
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Cast: Amy Irving
Director: David Jones
Release Date: 1999
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Lions Gate Home Entertainment (August 17, 1999)
Runtime: 1hr 54min
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