The Exonerated Sixteen years. Imagine everything you could do with sixteen years. Imagine everything you did the last sixteen years. Now take it all away. Sunny Jacobs was convicted and sentenced to death for a crime she did not commit. Her story and those of five other wrongly convicted death row survivors are told in The Exonerated, an Academy Award nominated film starring Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Aidan Quinn, Susan Sarandon and David Brown, Jr. These powerful, true stories about innocence, injustice and redemption will engage your emotion and incite your passion in an unforgettable way.
See the film before the reviewers barricade its effect, July 23, 2003 Reviewer: Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)
THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE is, I believe, a much better film than many fellow reviewers would indicate. Perhaps they are influenced by the reviews that came out in the media at the time of the film's theatrical release, perhaps the Editorial slam on the Product Page by Bret Fetzer taints opinion. I would urge you to see and/or buy this DVD, keep an open mind, and witness the effect on your own emotional response.
Kevin Spacey fleshes out the title role as a believable philosophy professor who speaks against capital punishment in the state of Texas which just happens to be the place where more executions are performed than any other state. He is not without problems: alcohol, a drunken sexual relationship with a former student, and an awkward but deeply significant relationship with Constance (Laura Linney) who later when found 'murdered and raped' on videotape results in the arrest and conviction of Spacey's Gale, now facing death on death row. Laura Linney is most credible as a driven anti-death penalty activist for reasons we discover are beyond the range of civil rights reponsibilty. The third part of this triangle is the reporter brought in to investigate Gale's claim to innocence in the last four days of his wait on death row. Kate Winslet captures all the parameters of this contemporary woman with seamless detail. To tell more of the story would be injurious to the unfolding of this worthwhile drama.
For a 2 hour plus movie THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE manages to hold our interest, encouraging us as viewers to keep our invetigatory eyes and ears open and struggle along with Winslet and her cohort to finally put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Others have complained that the clues are in every scene: isn't that true of most crime investigations? I see no fault in placing all the information in front of the audience to test the observation of the viewer as much as the skill of the screenwriter in resolving a case with the important message of this film. Alan Parker uses a lot of visual tricks in addressing the facts of the crime and even makes interesting parallels in the background music (the fairly obvious metaphor of TURANDOT arias by the presuicidal Liu appear repeatedly).
In the end this story is on a par with DEAD MAN WALKING as far as a significant plea for anti-Capital Punishment voices. See it for yourself. The skills of actors like Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney, and Kate Winslet pledging belief in this script can't be ignored.