Based on Gerry Conlon's autobiography, PROVED INNOCENT, Jim Sheridan's IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER tells the tumultuous and wrenching tale of a man wrongfully imprisoned in 1974 for the bombing of a London pub. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Conlon, a young Irish petty thief living in London who gets picked up after he and a friend, Paul Hill (John Lynch), rob a hooker's apartment. The British police, desperate to produce results in their search for the culprits in the pub bombing, force a false confession out of Conlon after subjecting him to days of sadistic torture and threats. The Guildford Four--Conlon, Hill, Paddy Armstrong (Mark Sheppard), and Carole Richardson (Beatie Edney)--are found guilty of the bombing, and members of Conlon's family, including his sickly father, Guiseppe, are imprisoned as co-conspirators. Conlon's desire to bring the truth to light builds as his harrowing incarceration in a maximum security prison stretches on.
The relationship between Conlon and his father, played with silent strength by Pete Postlethwaite, provides a stirring pulse at the core of this portrait of politically motivated injustice. Emma Thompson also turns in a fine performance as the lawyer who stubbornly battles for Conlon's exoneration. And Day-Lewis, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in MY LEFT FOOT, an earlier collaboration with director Sheridan, adds to his impressive body of work with a mind-boggling performance erupting with rage, pride, heart, and courage.