Tag Archives: attorney

The real thing

I was more than a little excited when I saw the first trailer for Robert Redford’s The Conspirator two months ago.

Costume drama has that effect on me — James McAvoy does, too.

So while most moviegoers this weekend went tropical at the animated Rio — or were terrified by Scream4 — I spent my Saturday afternoon in a circa-1865 courtroom reliving the conspiracy trial that followed the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.

I chose right.

Redford captured the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination — the nation’s shock and grief, the worry of a new Confederate uprising, the lust for revenge and speedy ‘justice’…even if the evidence wasn’t there.

It’s easy to draw parallels to our world today.

Articles say Redford was working with a tiny budget; it wasn’t evident on-screen.  The period details were all there.  The parade of name actors was also impressive, even if the script didn’t always give them much to do.

No, The Conspirator shines because of two performances: Robin Wright as Mary Surratt, one of the accused, and McAvoy, her initially reluctant attorney, Frederick Aiken.

They are fierce and brave and, ultimately, are what make this movie an intensely moving experience.

“Doing the unrealistic is easier than doing the realistic.”  — Tim Ferriss

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