Picks and Pans Review: Longford

updated 02/26/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/26/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Feb. 17, 8 p.m. ET)


Peter Morgan, whose Oscar-nominated script for The Queen is a model of how to shape history into drama, does it again. This extraordinary British film is about Frank Aungier Pakenham, Earl of Longford. A Catholic convert, an eccentric, a bit of a holy fool, he campaigned for years for the parole and rehabilitation of notorious child-killer Myra Hindley. People loathed him and mocked him for it. Jim Broadbent plays this strange, admirable old bird with blue eyes still wide with innocence. Samantha Morton is Hindley, vulnerable yet heartless. The relationship of saint to sinner has seldom been so moving.

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