In The Name of the Father
This powerful 1993 film from director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) tells the true story of the "Guilford Four," who were wrongly identified as IRA terrorists by the British government and given lengthy sentences for crimes they did not commit. The outstanding performances by Daniel Day Lewis and Pete Posthlewaite dominate the film, as Gerry and Guiseppe Conlon, the son and father who share a single cell and a lifetime of frustrations with each other, and while Lewis delivers another in a string of excellent film roles, the opportunity to see the gifted Posthlewaite (too often a supporting actor) take on a leading role should not be missed. Emma Thompson gives support as the English barrister who takes on the Guilford case, and while her appearance here is enjoyable, she essentially walks through a role that requires nothing but a walk-through anyway. The interrogation scenes in the first part of the movie are some of the most harrowing ever filmed, effectively portraying how experienced police officers can force a confession from a suspect with relentless psychological torture. The court scenes that frame the film are engaging as well, but don't expect In The Name of the Father to be either a cop movie or a legal thriller all of the really interesting stuff happens behind prison walls, between a father and son who never form a relationship until the worst of circumstances force them to confront their mutual disappointment in each other, and Sheridan does a commendable job of turning what could have been a routine political statement into something much more worthy a drama about love, sacrifice, and redemption. Based on the book by Gerry Conlon; Gabriel Byrne served as executive producer. Good transfer, DD 2.0, trailer, textual supplements. Keep-case.