In the Name of the Father review
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 10/13/11
A film about the real story of the Guildford Four, 4 individuals wrongfully accused for being responsible in the IRA's Guildford pub bombings. Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a carefree soul who does everything to survive with friend Paul Hill (John Lynch). The other 2 victims were Paddy Armstrong (Mark Sheppard) and Carole Richardson (Beatie Edney). The heartless Inspector Robert Dixon (Corin Redgrave) was responsible for imprisoning the four which includes Giuseppe Conlon (Pete Postlethwaite). Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson) is a lawyer who sides with the Conlon’s to attain justice. From the beginning of the film, it will grab your attention because of its enticing soundtrack (Bono, The Kinks, Bob Marley, Sinead O’Connor, etc.) and the development of Gerry. A brilliant screenplay that includes the following quotes: Gerry – “I want to tell them that until my father is proved innocent, until all the people involved in this case are proved innocent, until the guilty ones are brought to justice, I will fight on. In the name of my father and of the truth!” Giuseppe – “They can't block out the light in here.”
I have always enjoyed watching true to life films, especially when it is executed flawlessly. Astounding performances all around from Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson and Pete Postlethwaite coupled with scenic set locations. All three deservingly nominated in the Academy awards, a total of 7 nominations. Themes of justice, transformation, destiny, truth and fatherhood will always bring out the best in films, much like to The Godfather (which was injected in one of the scenes, very apt because of the father son relationship), Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane and Star Wars. You can feel sorry for the Conlon’s and those acquitted, hate the law, and love the father of Gerry. A range of emotions rarely felt in cinema these days. It makes you think that everyone of us has a path no matter how jaded our past is. A personal favorite quote came from Giuseppe - “Go and live. Go and live, son. That's the best advice I can give you.” In the Name of the Father truly is a masterpiece that holds and lives the test of time because of the sensitive topics, excellent acting and reality of its drama. A welcome addition to my top 100 list.