"Everyone deserves a defense,"
Later, defending a client Burton had freed on an earlier charge, Gardner will throw the line back at him; it is a line to stew in, especially because it will have been obvious to the audience even before the facts of the case are stated that the man is a murderer, just from the number of bird cages in his house. (A thin line separates the hobbyist from the sociopath in murder fiction.)
In British law, as I no doubt imperfectly understand it, under what's called the cab-rank rule, barristers are obliged to take any case they're offered and qualified to handle in order that not only no defendant goes unrepresented but that no lawyer is tarred by his clients. That Burton has never lost a case means, therefore, that he has helped set criminals free, and it's in this unavoidable irony that film sets course.
Tennant was famously the Tenth Doctor in "
Indeed, Tennant's best scenes are those with his son (Gus Barry) and wife, played by the always real
Director Brian Welsh makes the atmosphere moody without making a fetish out of mood. Without becoming too graphic or explicit — violence is more suggested or reported on than seen — the film creates an ongoing sense of dread that nevertheless is at times difficult to bear. Some parts do feel over-plotted, and some others a little underdone, so that you might cock an eye at the screen and think, "Nah."
But at its best it recalls Hitchcock in a
When: 9 p.m. Sunday