We are currently in the midst of one of the best seasons of the year for cinema, as studios are releasing an impressive number of gripping dramas tackling intense subject matter week after week. Most definitely included in this ongoing conversation is CLEMENCY from writer/director Chinonye Chukwu. The movie is going to be one of the last releases of 2019, hitting theatres on December 27, and is definitely a feature that deserves attention.
So, what is it that makes the film a standout? Let us break it down for you.
The subject matter is intense and powerful
There are few places more dramatic to set a story than death row, and CLEMENCY is a shocking deep dive into its horrifying reality. The film simultaneously tells the story of a prison warden (Alfre Woodard) and a convict who is weeks away from his execution (Aldis Hodge). The emotional weight that both of them carry is heart wrenching and powerful, exposing audiences to the horrific details of a world that nobody likes to think about, but has been a part of American life in its current form for decades.
Alfre Woodard is phenomenal
Warden Bernadine Williams is a woman whose career revolves around death, and while she possesses tremendous strength and fortitude, it’s an experience that weighs heavily on her every moment of her waking life. She is torn between a passion for justice and an understanding that the people she sees killed on a regular basis are, at their core, human beings. Properly expressing that internal conflict demands a tremendous talent, which is why CLEMENCY is fortunate to have Alfre Woodard in the role. The actress delivers one of the best performances of her career, and it’s a turn that audiences won’t soon forget.
Aldis Hodge is an exciting up-and-comer
Aldis Hodge isn’t a household name quite yet, but if he keeps taking on projects like CLEMENCY, that won’t be true for long. As Anthony Woods, the actor plays a man at the end of his rope, about to be wrongly executed for a crime evidence shows he didn’t commit, and the emotional journey he goes on accepting his fate is shredding and incredible. Following this performance, expect to start hearing a lot more about him as he starts getting more high-profile work.
It’s going to inspire award season chatter
There are a lot of movies coming out right now that are vying for attention from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and CLEMENCY will be one of them. The film has already been dubbed an "award winner," given that it took home the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. But there are many other trophies for which the movie is still in the running, particularly the Best Actress category at the Oscars®. At this point, it’s impossible to say how many nominations it may ultimately earn, but it’s absolutely worthy of consideration, and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible to keep the chatter alive.
CLEMENCY arrives in AMC theatres on December 27. Get your tickets today.