A big-city lawyer (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns home when his estranged father, a small-town judge (Robert Duvall), is accused of murder.
PLEASE NOTE: The Judge will have an additional screening on Thursday, September 4 at 10pm (Winter Garden Theatre). Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 3 at 9am.
Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall lead
a cast of Hollywood heavyweights in this
tough and rousing drama about the searing
clashes that carve a rift between father and
son — and the unexpected crisis that may
just help to bridge it.
When slick Chicago defence attorney
Hank Palmer (Downey) returns to his
Indiana hometown to bury his mother, her
passing proves only the precursor to greater
upheaval. Hank's father, Judge Joseph
Palmer (Duvall), stands accused of murder,
alleged to have run down a former defendant
whom he failed to convict, and who later
committed a heinous crime. Despite their
bitterly dysfunctional relationship, Hank
agrees to take his father's case. But he is up
against a formidable opponent in Dwight
Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton), the local
prosecutor who knows how to use Judge
Palmer's reputation against him. The ensuing
trial is an electrifying display of lawyerly
ingenuity and familial tension.
Coming back down to earth after reaching
the stratosphere as Iron Man, Downey
retains the grace, charisma, and impeccable
wit that made him such a singular star.
Duvall — who will also grace our Mavericks
stage for a conversation about his illustrious
career — shows that his ability to find the
cracks in even the most hardened characters
remains peerless. And the outstanding supporting
cast, including Vincent D'Onofrio
and Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga,
helps to create a multi-faceted portrait of a
world so different from the cosmopolitan
milieu Hank normally calls home.
Directed by David Dobkin, whose breakthrough
feature, Clay Pigeons, screened at
the Festival in 1998, The Judge is much more
than a courtroom procedural. It puts a lifetime
of family grievances on trial, finding no
one wholly innocent — and everyone worthy
of a second chance.