Flawed but ambitious, this biopic of British parliamentarian William Wilberforce closely tracks the political maneuvering of the late 18th and early 19th centuries as reformers campaign to end Britain's participation in the slave trade. Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) never conveys the religious zeal that propelled the Tory politician, but he's ably supported by Benedict Cumberbatch as the hero's friend and ally William Pitt the Younger; steely Michael Gambon as a Whig MP who throws in with the antislavery crusade; and stormy Albert Finney as John Newton, a former slave trader who renounced his sin and became an Anglican clergyman. Michael Apted directed, and screenwriter Steven Knight gracefully articulates the many domestic and international forces at work. PG, 116 min.
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