Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reel People: Hilary Swank is Betty Anne Waters

The film is Betty Anne Waters directed by Tony Goldwyn, with a screenplay written by Pamela Gray (Music of The Heart) and Richard LaGravenese (writer/director of recent Swank films P.S. I Love You and Freedom Writers, as well as The Fisher King, Bridges of Madison County).

Betty Anne Waters (the person)

Betty Anne Waters was born in 1965.

In 1980 a diner employee, Katharina Brow, was murdered in Ayer, Massachussets. One of Betty Anne Waters' eight siblings, younger brother, Kenneth Waters would be convicted of committing the crime in 1983. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Kenneth was known for causing trouble in Ayers, Massachusetts and when Katharina Brow turned up dead in her trailer home, Kenneth Waters was a suspect, particularly when witnesses came forward claiming he confessed to stabbing her. Both witnesses were former girlfriends, one of these witnesses even include the mother of his child.

Kenneth's younger sister Betty Anne didn't believe the conviction, and it was at this point that Betty Anne Waters began the passionate pursuit to free her brother from prison.

Betty Anne a young single-mother of two young boys dropped out of high school, but went back to get her GED, then her bachelors degree, masters in education, and then a law degree from Roger Williams University.

While earning her degrees, raising her family, and working part-time as a waitress she began to work with the Innocence Project in New York and in 1999 solicited the assistance of attorney Barry Scheck.

Scheck helped Betty Anne Waters get blood samples of her brother and the murderer cross referenced and it was determined that Kenneth was not the murderer. He was exonerated in March 15, 2001.

Betty Anne Waters continues her work in working to free wrongfully convicted criminals, as well as fighting for the rights of prison inmates.

Betty Anne Waters (the movie)

Betty Anne Waters stars Hilary Swank in the title role. Sam Rockwell plays the part of her brother, Kenneth Waters. Recent Oscar nominee Melissa Leo plays a cop who believes Kenneth is guilty of the crime, and Minnie Driver plays one Betty Anne's friends in law school. Juliette Lewis and Clea Duval also have roles in this film.

Hilary Swank plays a variety of parts, and could easily get attention this year for her role in another bio-pic playing the part of Amelia Earhart. But one should never underestimate Hilary Swank, you never know how critics and audiences will react to her performances, and there's always a chance for this talented actress to get Oscar attention for playing any role.

Will Swank get Oscar attention for playing this Real (Reel) Person?

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