4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Stunning, compelling and with brilliant performances,
This review is from: In the Name of the Father [DVD]  (DVD)
One of the common themes in the reviews I have written for films is that of performances. For me, even a poor narrative can be redeemed by excellence from the cast and certain actors just command your attention. Such a person is Daniel Day Lewis and never is his performance so much the centrepiece of a film than it is here. The narrative is good but like most true stories, especially one as well known as that of The Guildford Four, it is not the film's highlight. We know already that the four were framed, that they spent time in prison for something they didn't do, that there was a witholding of evidence and that it was far from the finest hour for British jurisprudence.
Day Lewis as Gerry Conlon is simply brilliant in this film, it is at time hard to believe that he is the same actor from My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Room With A View and Gangs of New York. The intensity which he brings to the role and the sheer believability of him is breathtaking and surely, had perhaps the film not been quite so political, he would have won an Oscar.
Another brilliant performance comes from Pete Postlethwaite as Day Lewis's father, Guiseppe and excellent support is given by Emma Thompson as the lawyer who takes up Conlon's case and Corin Redgrave as Dixon, the police officer in charge of the original investigation.
Some of the facts about the case and the persons involved have been ammended in order presumably to make or a tighter narrative, Dixon for example is a character based upon many police officers but this dramatic license does not detract from the central point of the film. All told, this is a compelling film which at various points inspires most of the raft of human emotion as it unravels the story of one of Britain's biggest miscarriages of justice.