In the Name of the Father (1993)

(On Cable TV, August 2016) Harsh but triumphant, In the Name of the Father tells the upsetting story of Gerry Conlon, a Belfast resident falsely accused of murder by the British Police and locked up for fifteen years before being set free, although not before seeing his father die in prison. Much of the movie is a showcase for Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Conlon expertly while the character changes from an easy-going twenty-year-old to an almost-forty-something ex-convict. Jim Sheridan’s direction can be aggressive at time, with strong music cues dominating the opening section of the film, then pivoting toward a justice-reclaimed narrative later during the movie. In the Name of the Father’s showcase sequence is almost certainly the interrogation that closes the first act, as brutal a display of dystopian police authority as can be imagined. While In the Name of the Father is not always easy to watch, it is compelling enough to elevate the oft-familiar subject. Saffron Burrows can be seen in a small (but tall) role early in the movie.

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