Friday, November 11, 2011
Remembrance Day - Friday five
Probably my top pick is this terrific film with Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern and Jon Voight. The first time I saw it, it blew me away - it was frightening because, unlike many war films, it was a deeply personal story. It wasn't about battles or victories, it was about the complicating and challenging aftermath of war for three very different people. It's just the kind of story I like, a story about people, about characters, and not about a huge landscape of battle where I never really get to know anyone.
The movie was as good as the book - one of the movies where scenes stick with you forever. Again, this story is personal - there are battles, but they don't involve tanks or aircraft carriers or regiments of soldiers. It involves a few people fighting a war that means everything to them. It's terrific.
They managed to take a single strand of a very complicated and complex book and turn it into a movie that somehow captures the entire feel of the book and still be a story we all can follow.
The desert, Italy - stories from the past, stories from the present - they all work together and turn into a completely spellbinding movie.
This is the only classic war movie on my list - and I didn't know until today that it was written by a Frenchman (who also, amazing to me, wrote The Planet of the Apes). This movie, by David Lean, a great director of great epics, has it all. Music, scenery, hordes of great actors, a story that it's impossible not to get behind. And when the good guys win out? We cannot help but cheer.
The rest of the movies on my list don't have that classic ending, the endings aren't such obvious wins.
Maybe that's why I like them?