Edge

‘The Conspirator’ is engrossing and surprisingly timely

Courtesy Flicksnbits.com

The philosopher George Santayana once said, “The one who does not remember history is bound to repeat it again.” Apparently our nation’s collective memory is fairly short, because clearly we have not learned a thing since 1865.

“The Conspirator,” the latest film from actor-director Robert Redford, is a parable for our time: The constitution is subverted after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, to try and convict the assassins.

Similar to recent events at Guantanamo Bay, the alleged conspirators behind Lincoln’s murder are treated to a heavily biased military tribunal. There is doubt regarding the complicity of one of the accused – Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), the mother of the sole conspirator on the lam – and a Union-veteran lawyer (James McAvoy) must overcome his own biases in order to ensure that she gets a fair trial. As we now know, that never happens, thanks to the draconian methods of Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline), Lincoln’s war secretary.

Despite being mostly set in a courtroom, “The Conspirator” is absolutely gripping, due largely in part to its relevance and fine cast. McAvoy capably carries the film on his shoulders, and he is supported by spectacular performances by Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood and a scenery-chewing Danny Huston. While Alexis Bledel’s character is mostly superfluous to the action, it is nice to see that Rory Gilmore is still alive.

The curious thing about this film is that it never really discusses the conspirators’ motivations – the assassins are simply portrayed as disgruntled rebels. Even though some of the dialogue is completely obvious in its intent to draw connections with today’s events, “The Conspirator” remains an engrossing, timely and excellent film.

Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at sbpilchick@themiamihurricane.com.


Rating: 3/4 stars

Starring: James McAvoy, Robin Wright

Director: Robert Redford

MPAA Rating: PG-13

April 20, 2011

Reporters

Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Former pro wrestler and promoter The Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller was interviewed by Ryan K. Boman of T ...

The University of Miami has its future quarterback. Jarren Williams, a consensus four-star, dual-thr ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Through its new Leadership UMiami program, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership is empowerin ...

A Biomedical Engineering Major and campus leader, Sterile Achille involved herself in many activitie ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara is excited to announce a fou ...

University of Miami women's volleyball player Brooke McDermott is an active member in the Hurri ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.