Clemency

Please Note: This film is no longer showing at Railroad Square Cinema

The great Alfre Woodard “may have graced us with the performance of her career” (Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist) in CLEMENCY. “The unthinkably tough job of a prison warden (Woodard) who oversees executions is the subject of this delicate drama from writer/director Chinonye Chukwu. Inspired by a true story, “Clemency” follows in the weary footsteps of Woodard’s Bernadine Williams. Execution looms for inmate Anthony Woods (Aldis Hodge), convicted of killing a policeman, and we watch as Bernadine’s longtime, steely dedication to her job begins to fray and unravel her marriage. Woodard gives a masterful performance (one in a career of many) as a woman in a position of relative power whose views on the morality of capital punishment aren’t allowed to come into play. She can only enforce the rules and treat her inmates as humanely as possible before supervising their deaths, a procedure that is clearly eroding her internally. Chukwu’s screenplay follows Bernadine as the quiet, often inscrutable center of the hurricane of public opinion raging around Woods, who has become a media focus, but the rest of the cast is excellent, too. “Clemency” is remarkable for the understanding it affords to all”—Sara Stewart, New York Post. R. 113 Min.