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Lent Day 15 "The Conspirator" looms on April 15 - CinemaDave

Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:25 pm Lent Day 15 "The Conspirator" looms on April 15



When he is not being politically silly, Robert Redford does direct good movies, most notable **The Horse Whisperer** and **Ordinary People.** After being involved with poorly performing box office duds recently, Redford directs his first historical motion picture abort the assassination of American's first Republican president. **The Conspirator** opens with the murder of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Boothe. After a national manhunt, Boothe was shot in a burning barn and five associates were arrested and put to trial in a military tribunal. This portion of the film is the most exciting and energetic portion of the movie.

When court is in session, the pace of **The Conspirator** slows down and becomes a courtroom drama. Union Civil War Veteran Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) becomes the public defender of Mary Suratt (Robin Wright), the proprietor of the bed & breakfast where the assassination was planned. Surratt invokes her right of the 5th amendment and does not speak to defend herself. While her actions is seen as presumption of guilt, her motives are maternal; Surratt wants to protect her daughter Anna (Evan Rachel Wood) and son, John (Johnny Simmons), a young man implicated because he was friends with John Wilkes Booth.

**The Conspirator** is the debut film from the The American Film Company, whose mission is to create films that are historically accurate. One is reminded of a world without electricity, for the trial is illuminated by open windows and candlelight. A toilet is heard flushing in the background, only a progressive city like Washington D.C. would afford such a scientific contraption.

As Mary Surratt, Robin Wright will be considered for an Oscar. Her stoic actions are only betrayed by the windows of the soul, her eyes. With his work in **Atonement** and the new **X-Men** movie being released this summer James McAvoy will become a household name in the movies. As Aiken, McAvoy is the film's narrator and he masters a transitional performance. Enjoying the wigs, beards and 19th Century clothing, veteran actors Kevin Kline (as Edwin Staton) and Tom Wilkinson ( as Reverdy Johnson), sink their teeth in character roles. The new generation of ensemble players, Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel and Justin Long acquit themselves in this fine, but dark, drama.

"The Conspirator" opens on income tax day.

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Comments:

From:cinemastar
Date:March 24th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)

"The Conspirator"

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It will be interesting to see how Robin Wright portrays Mary Surratt who went to the gallows because of her involvement with the Lincoln plotters. Some historians believe Mary was innocent, and I have never seen any extensive portrayals of her on film before.

John Wilkes Booth had been planning to kidnap or kill Lincoln for quite some time but his actions seem almost spur of the moment on the night he actually shot the president. Booth's only weapons at the time were a small, single shot Derringer pistol and a large knife. Booth was prosperous enough to be more heavily armed.
From:cinemadave
Date:March 24th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)

Re: "The Conspirator"

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I just saw the film. You know your history well.
From:cinemastar
Date:March 24th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)

Re: "The Conspirator"

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Hi again, Cinema Dave and thanks for the compliment! If you get a chance to post an online review of the film I'm sure many of your readers will enjoy checking out your point of view. :)
From:cinemadave
Date:March 24th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)

Re: "The Conspirator"

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Thanks Cinema Star!
I will post closer to April 15,
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 14th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)

why do you post to IMDB before reviews are live?

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it's a bad user experience to come to your site from an "external reviews" listing on IMDB only to discover there's NO REVIEW. You may want to consider holding off submitting your links to IMDB until you actually post something worthwhile.
From:cinemadave
Date:April 14th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)

Re: why do you post to IMDB before reviews are live?

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Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Sadly, IMDB can sometimes take up to 3 to 4 weeks to link my review to my website. When I see a film, I try to link ASAP and try to anticipate timing the post of the interview.

Often studios ask us to hold our reviews until the eve of the release.

I am sorry that you had a bad user experience, but if you notice, the review is up!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 25th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
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I just saw the movie and I don't think that she invoked the 5th amendment. I think McAvoy says that because it was a military tribunal she wasn't actually allowed to testify, even if she were so inclined.
From:cinemadave
Date:April 25th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)

Good Point!

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I did not think of that!