Daly City's Sam Rockwell Talks 'Conviction,' Movies Overlooked and His Unwavering Passion for Acting
What if you made a movie and nobody saw it? The studios didn’t promote it. The theaters didn’t play it. It died a quiet and overlooked death. Sam Rockwell knows the feeling too well.
That didn’t happen to a surefire juggernaut like this spring’s Iron Man 2, in which the Daly City native played a corporate rival to the unsinkable Tony Stark. And it probably won’t happen to Conviction, directed by onetime Ghost star Tony Goldwyn and inspired by the true story of Betty Anne Waters, a Massachusetts wife and mother who put herself through law school in a desperate bid to overturn her brother’s conviction for murder.
The 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival begins tonight with a star-studded Opening Gala at the Mill Valley Community Center and screenings of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and Tony Goldwyn's Conviction. For a complete list of featured selections, showtimes and tickets, visit the festival's official site.
The 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival kicks off Thursday with two opening-night films: The King’s Speech, winner of the Audience Award at last month’s Toronto Film Festival, starring A Single Man Oscar nominee Colin Firth as King George VI, who conquers his humiliating stutter with the help of Geoffrey Rush’s unconventional speech therapist; and Conviction, Tony Goldwyn’s chronicle of a high-school dropout (Hilary Swank) who earns a law degree to free her brother (Sam Rockwell) from prison.
If Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left was, as Roger Ebert put it, “a tough, bitter little sleeper of a movie that's about four times as good as you'd expect,” Dennis Iliadis’ no-frills remake is roughly the same – slicker, perhaps, but no less brutally effective. There are those who will find it repugnant, and others who will be stunned silent by its raw graphic violence. Nobody ever said going to the movies has to be fun.
While the low-budget original, which has become something of a cult favorite among hardened horror fans, has an air of disquieting authenticity thanks to its grainy, home movie-style footage and its shockingly intimate portrayals of depravity, this latest version is a far handsomer production. Is it more sanitized? Yes and no.