Actors are notoriously tiny, a fact easy to overlook because they're constantly being projected on huge screens and acting opposite people of equally tiny stature. (It's similar to how basketball players all look reasonably sized until you see a normal-size human hanging off one of their legs.) So imagine just how tiny James McAvoy must be that every single time he appears in anything he looks so damn slight. If a medical professional told us he had avian bone syndrome, we would believe him. In Robert Redford's historical drama The Conspirator, about the trial of the only woman involved in the Lincoln assassination, McAvoy — along with his frail skeleton, some chin scratch, and an excellent American accent — tries to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) from a miscarriage of justice. In real life, Surratt, the mother of John Surratt, a conspirator who avoided charges, was — spoiler alert — found guilty and executed, but not before being handled very roughly and possibly being granted a stay. So as with Lions for Lambs, Redford is trying to explore some big, present-day themes: terrorism, torture, and the order of law. Hopefully for him, The Conspirator will not be as didactically boring as Lions, though this trailer isn't doing much to convince us, despite a stacked cast. Bonus spotting: Rory Gilmore, sounding a whole lot like Rory Gilmore, in period dress.
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