Review of ‘The Burial’: a courtroom drama in Mississippi | ET REALITY


In the opening scenes of this courtroom drama based on true events, which is loaded with a sentimentality that it ultimately does not need, “The Burial” could provoke some skepticism in viewers. I mean, it may be a bit of a stretch to support a Mississippi funeral home owner with eight locations who is unable to square up with some bad business decisions.

The owner of the funeral home is Jeremiah O’Keefe, played by Tommy Lee Jones, and we meet him at his 75th birthday party in 1995. He had been trying to sell some of his facilities to the slick CEO of a funeral care mega-company. corporation, but when the corporation withholds the paperwork, O’Keefe could potentially be forced to file for bankruptcy.

This situation becomes much more interesting. A young black lawyer working with O’Keefe recruits another black lawyer, the very rich and flashy Willie Gary, played by Jamie Foxx, to work on the case. The logic is that O’Keefe’s lawsuit will attract a majority black jury. The American way of dying, apparently, gained no more integrity as it became corporatized, and it turns out that Big Funeral’s exploits have an ugly racist angle.

Directed by Maggie Betts from a script she wrote with Doug Wright, “The Burial” becomes a lively courtroom drama with broad relevance. Of course, its two lead actors give the brave performances one would expect from them, but they don’t eat up the scenery: they take the material seriously and invest in it with welcome nuance. The supporting cast is also top-notch, with Jurnee Smollett sifting intelligence as Gary’s female counterpart on defense, and Bill Camp as the villain, making a sly, clever riff on Jack Nicholson’s performance in “A Few Good Men.” “.

The burial
Rated R for language. Duration: 2 hours 6 minutes. Watch it on Amazon Prime Video.

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