“The Conspirator” is not a movie with a large marketing budget and a sizeable distribution, but I thought it was one of the better historical films I’ve seen in a while. It is very atmospheric in an historical sense, and made me feel like I was witnessing an important part of American history first-hand as it was actually happening.
Directed by Robert Redford, this is the true story of Mary Surratt, the owner of a boarding house in Washington, D.C., where John Wilkes Booth and several of his co-conspirators met (including Surratt’s son) regularly to plot an attempt for the kidnapping of President Lincoln. The plan was to hold Lincoln captive until the U. S. government released all the POW’s from the army of the south. The plans obviously changed when Booth went ahead and shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theater. Surratt and three of the men who were in on the plot all went on trial before a military tribunal.
Robin Wright plays Mary Surratt and James McAvoy plays an attorney and former Captain in the army of the north who is appointed to defend her. The large cast also includes Kevin Kline, John Cullum, Tom Wilkinson and Colm Meaney. This is truly an actor’s film with a strong and vibrant script.
“The Conspirator” is engrossing and will give you an accurate understanding of the climate of our Country in one of its most trying and tumultuous times.