Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Friday, 15 March 2013

#219 - 'In the Name of the Father' (1993)

"I have faith in myself. Gerry Conlon. Lifer. 30-year sentence. And I know how to survive it, no problem." - Gerry Conlon.
Petty thief Gerry Conlon is wrongly accused and arrested for the bombing of a pub by the IRA in Guildford. The British Police coerce a confession out of Conlon and four of his friends by using excessive force and threats. Also implicated are Gerry's family, accused of aiding terrorism. Gerry is imprisoned alongside his father and continues to try and prove their innocence. Gareth Pierce, a lawyer, is investigating the case and finds out the shocking truth behind Conlon's wrongful incarceration.
Police brutality.
The film has a strong leading cast. Daniel Day-Lewis plays the protagonist Gerry Conlon, with Peter Postlethwaite playing his father Giuseppe Conlon. Emma Thompson is Gareth Pierce who has a pivotal role. As shown recently with his Academy recognition for his portrayal in Lincoln, Day-Lewis is a fantastic method actor. He is convincing as the Belfast born Conlon and also received an Academy nomination for Best Actor for this role. Unsurprisingly, Postlethwaite and Thompson also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress respectively. 
Gerry, Paul and Giuseppe in the dock.
Based on a true story, the subject matter is serious and is dealt with in a sensitive and powerful way. The film starts with Gerry being mistaken for a sniper and a full scale riot breaks out highlighting the tension and terror on the streets of Belfast. Shipped off to England, Gerry meets his old friend Paul Hill. At the time of the bombing, they are sitting on a bench in the park and meet a homeless man. Arrested for simply being Irish, the harrowing scenes in Police custody are at times difficult to watch. The scenes with Gerry and his father in prison are very emotional.
Gerry and Gareth.
In the Name of the Father is an engrossing film that is obviously adapted from the true story in order to create a strong narrative. The acting is top drawer and Day-Lewis is very impressive as the lead. 

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