ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Confession: A Review

Updated on March 16, 2013

The Confession is an interesting movie. Not so much interesting in that it's going to provoke a big philosophical debate, which is clearly the point, but in that it's a mass of confusing screen-writing, poor directing, and awful acting and yet I still find myself enjoying it.

Ben Kingsley and Amy Irving play Harry and Sarah Fertig. Their son, Stevie, comes down with appendicitis and dies after a lengthy wait in the ER. Feeling slighted by some absolutely abysmal service he received in the ER (hours pass and no one takes even a passing second to see that something is truly wrong with the child), Harry takes matters into his own hands and kills three of the hospital workers in order to prove a point of some kind to the city at large. A Jewish man of deeply religious beliefs, Harry turns himself to the police and plans to plead guilty.

Convinced that Harry doesn't deserve to go to jail, his boss, Renoble (Jay O. Sanders), hires Alec Baldwin's Roy Bleakie, a defense attorney supposedly known for being able to get his clients off no matter what. We're shown Bleakie blackmailing a D.A. with photographic proof of an affair in order to get some charges dropped, which I suppose is intended to show us how ruthless Bleakie is, but if we're supposed to feel sympathy for a public official who cheats on his wife and then is stupid enough to do so in full view of a window, I don't think that quite worked. At any rate, everyone Bleakie is associated with, from friends, other lawyers, and the judge he is sleeping with, seems to be convinced that he absolutely must convince Harry to change his plea from Guilty to Not Guilty by reason of Mental Defect. If Bleakie can do this, then he's on the fast track to becoming the next D.A. because, well...huh? Things take an even weirder turn in the final act of the movie when you find out that the only reason Harry's boss is footing Bleakie's bill is because Harry has proof that his boss is crooked, and if he is found to be crazy, his testimony will be useless against him in court.

The biggest problem with this movie is that things make no sense. Wait times in ERs can be brutal, and having to fill out forms in triplicate is a pain in the butt, but even at the absolute worst, if you brought a child literally on the brink of death into a hospital, he would be treated. Everyone in the movie seems completely convinced that a guilty man who wants to plead guilty is crazy when he could try a mental defense. That Harry's boss wants Harry to be found incompetent in order to avoid persecution doesn't hold any water because even if Harry is crazy, there is physical written proof that he is up to no good; who cares if he is crazy when there is a legitimate spreadsheet that proves Renoble is poisoning New York's water supply? Why would Bleakie be allowed to tell the court, at the sentencing hearing, that Renoble is crooked and only paying his retainer's fee, and why would this be proof that Harry isn't crazy?

I can see what they were trying to do here, I really do. The idea of a man committing a crime and wanting to be punished for it, while everyone else thinks he should try to get out of it, isn't a horrible idea by any means. A religious man seeking repentance from God from what he did is certainly a topic that has been explored before and could certainly be explored further. Harry, however, is ridiculously one dimensional. Ben Kingsley has turned in fine performances before, but this is not it. He's pretty awful here, and some (though not all) of the blame for that has to be laid at the character's feet. There is never any doubt, from the moment Harry and Bleakie meet that Harry is going to plead guilty. He is 100% convinced it is the right thing to do and he never waffles, never doubts it, and at the end of the movie, that is what he does. By no means is he the only one to half-ass it here (Amy Irving is pretty bad, too), but as so much of this really has to depend on him, it falls flat. The fact that the directing is nothing more exciting then talking headshots also does not help.

And yet, as I mentioned earlier, despite a script that makes no sense, actors tripping over each other to turn in as awful a performance as they can, a third act that really, really didn't need to be there, I didn't hate my time with this. Baldwin turns in a fine enough performance and the ideas at the very, very base of this movie were enough to keep me going.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)