In this profound exploration of the emotional toll of capital punishment, Alfre Woodard seems to take responsibility for the entire movie, just as her character takes responsibility for ending the lives of those deemed by society as being unfit to live. As she does this the supporting cast seems to lift up beneath her to echo her sadness in multiple tones. The condemned man may turn out to be the lucky one.
Looking closer, the fact that Woodard practically simmers off the screen is testimony to the powerful supporting cast. Richard Schiff boils with anguished argument as obsessed lawyer and anti-death activist Marty Lumetta. He is being slowly destroyed by his inability to stop society from killing people as prison Warden Bernadine Williams is being emotionally unstrung by her assumption of the outrageous role of legal killer. (CONTINUED)