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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Unforgivable (2021)

Sandra Bullock has never really been my cup of tea. I don't know what it is about her, but the only thing I really liked her in was probably Speed. Not the poor woman's' fault , I know, but I just can't warm to that face. Even when she's smiling, she looks to me like she's hiding a very dark secret that she will never fully tell you about. We all have those, I guess, someone that just rubs you up the wrong way. Still, like every good reviewer, I have to overlook my natural instincts and judge any project on its own merit. I mean, I have watched Mark Wahlberg in things other than Ted and Ted 2, so it would be unfair not to really.

Here we are led to believe that Sandra has been inside for the crime of killing a policeman as she attempted to protect her little sister (sister? really, are we buying this?) from being taken from her by the authorities. What she had done to deserve this in the first place was not really clear, but if you believe what we're led to believe, then she wasn't putting cigarettes out on her or banging her head in the fridge door. When she was caught for the crime of protecting her, her little sister was only five years old and now no longer even remembers her, just a dim, grainy hint of a woman that looked after her in her distant memory.

What follows is not exactly a huge colourful piñata of adventure. This is a considered view of the treatment of offenders after they have served their time and the hoops they have to jump through just get from one day to the next. Granted, 'don't allegedly shoot policemen then' may be a convincing argument, but the film tries to cajole its audience into feeling sorry for Bullock's character who rightly or wrongly, lest we forget, is a convicted murderer. Dress it up anyway you like, actions have consequences no matter who you are. Just ask Prince Andrew.

Bullock's performance is suitably dour and grey as she attempts to make contact with her long lost sister, whilst still taking any job she can get to keep her in rent and a continuously uncertain future. The cinematography is grim and this is admittedly well paced. It just isn't much fun. Not the plan, I'd guess. Great support by the always reliable Viola Davis and there is a welcome twist by its conclusion which may be predictable if you know a twist is coming, but it's not obvious if you don't.

A impressive vehicle for Bullock, who apparently had a good degree of control over the whole thing, which shows more often than it doesn't. Realistically depressing enough to make me not want to watch it again, though not for a lack of quality.


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