The Next Three Days is one of my favorite Russell Crowe movies, because it showed me a side of Elizabeth Banks I’d never seen before, and because like any story with a good Don Quixote fan reference, it makes you believe in impossible feats, without doubting that they are impossible. It makes you believe that for love, you have to try even if it is impossible, you have to try no matter what.
Russell said that he liked the script because it challenged him to play someone who faces an impossible choice: he could save his wife, but only by becoming someone she could no longer love.
Also worth spotting are co-stars Ty Simpkins (of Jurassic World and Iron Man fame) and Olivia Wilde, an actress best known for lead roles in T.V.’s House and the remake of Tron, who recently directed her first movie, Booksmart, to critical acclaim.
In this scene, pictured above, Russell Crowe’s John Brennan confronts his wife’s attorney about the results of her last appeal. His wife pled innocent to a murder charge, but was convicted on circumstantial evidence because a witness saw her fighting with the victim (her boss) and driving away from the crime scene just before the body was discovered.
John’s last hope is the Supreme Court, but his lawyer warns that even filing an appeal with the high court would be dishonest of him, as their attorney – the Supreme Court hasn’t heard a murder appeal in decades, why would they start now? John hasn’t yet contemplated breaking his wife out of prison, but after this turn of events, that unlikely possibility will be her only way out.
Grant us this one reprieve from an injustice:
take up the lance against the windmills, for love.
From an act of brute indifference, free my wife.
As my friend and as her advocate, appeal –
do not ignore her innocence to decide.
Could you send her to live among criminals?
Just extend your hand – vouch for her honesty.
The light of the truth falls on us all alike.
This hope in the impassive leads me onward.
The law has just one remedy left for us,
and you must take us there, to the highest court.
Let me bring my wife home to bed with our son,
restore our lives together, while she still breathes.
Let me tell the world that she is innocent,
as well you know, as I have always believed.
This separation rends her from her being.
Attest her honesty – the court will hear you.
The law that maligned her must come to her aid.