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Directed by Angelina Jolie
An unrelentingly grim affair, Unbroken excels at its realistic portrayal of dehumanization, but fails to capture the indomitable spirit of its protagonist. Angelina Jolie’s film is an impressive technical achievement, and her hero’s journey is undeniably gripping, but there aren’t enough bright spots to warrant a trip into this kind of darkness. Simply put, this amazing story is the stuff of documentaries, not a glorified passion play.
You can’t make up stories like Louis Zamperini’s life. A High School track star who shocked the world with his unexpected performance in the ’36 Berlin Olympics, Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) found even greater fame for his horrific wartime misfortune. Zamperini, a bomber during World War II, crashes into the Pacific after his plane suffers engine failure. He and two surviving crewmates, Phil »
- J.R. Kinnard
“The Interview” may be the most talked-about movie heading into Christmas Day, but the star-laden Disney musical “Into the Woods,” the Angelina Jolie–directed “Unbroken” and Oscar frontrunner “Selma” lead a holiday parade of eight new movies that could wrest the spotlight this weekend.
With the exception of the blockbuster Peter Jackson epic “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the holiday box office has been sluggish. But the high-profile releases could turn that around starting Thursday.
- Todd Cunningham
Chicago – Olympic runner, plane crash survivor, and WWII Pow Louis Zamperini had an extraordinary life of defeating even more profound conditions from cruel nature and fellow man. His is a tale of grandiose cinematic potential, especially considering our desire for beat-down underdogs and their gauntlets of adversity, but such gets a surface-level treatment from director Angelina Jolie’s underwhelming tribute “Unbroken.”
The film is a chronicle of Zamperini’s struggles, a narrative that beats a character down specifically to see them endure. Embodying Zamperini is Jack O’Connell, a rising actor with an immense amount of power inside him, even though this movie undersells it with whimsical stoicism. (If you’re looking for a great role to see the biggest sense of this, I recommend his 2014 bloody-knuckle prison drama “Starred Up.”)
“Unbroken” has a strange flaw in that it makes plain a man of astonishing heroism. From the very beginning of the story, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Earlier this year, Louie Zamperini died at the age of 97. He was the son of Italian immigrants, born in 1917 in New York state. His family relocated to Torrance, California where he was on the verge of becoming a hooligan until his older brother Pete got him involved with the school track team. By the time he was 19, he had qualified for the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the 5000-meter race.
An entire feature-length film could probably be made just about his career as a runner, but the full scope of the man's endurance is told here in Angelina Jolie's second directorial effort. Unbroken really feels like three movies in one, weaving in the story of Zamperini's Olympic success, his time in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and his eventual struggles as a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp. In the film, British actor Jack O'Connell »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Review by Dana Jung
The story of Louis Zamperini is perhaps unknown to modern audiences, but has been well documented through the decades. Sports hero, war hero, and all-American good guy, Mr. Zamperini has been in and out of the public eye since the 1930s. Tony Curtis was supposedly interested in a film version of Mr. Zamperini’s story as far back as the 1950s. It’s certainly surprising that no one has attempted to bring the story to life on the big screen, because Mr. Zamperini’s saga is an amazing testament to the human capacities for endurance and survival.
Director Angelina Jolie and screenwriters Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard Lagravenese, and William Nicholson have stayed true to the best-selling book written by Laura Hillenbrand. The film is generally divided into three segments, with some brief but informative flashbacks that add insight to the character. The movie opens aboard »
- Movie Geeks
With a team that's won a total of six Oscars and been nominated for over 35 more, on paper, at least, "Unbroken" seems like as close to a sure thing as it gets this awards season.
It has a high-profile director, a script by the Coen brothers, and an up-and-coming young actor delivering another in a string of acclaimed performances. Not to mention it's adapted from a best-selling account of the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian-turned-war hero who survived a plane crash and 47 days lost at sea during World War II, only to spend another two-and-a-half years in a Japanese Pow camp.
But somehow, despite all of that, Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" ends up less than the sum of its promising parts. So to figure out what went wrong, we've taken a look at the World War II drama's latest Oscar odds to determine where "Unbroken" ultimately broke down. »
- Rick Mele
Run Rabbit Run: Jolie’s Grimly Serious Pow Reenactment
Beautifully, if sometimes too glossily mounted, Angelina Jolie’s sophomore effort as a director, Unbroken, is too poker faced to enjoy either as a dramatic motion picture or a document of an excruciating, unnecessary experience. That’s not to say there isn’t untoward torture and humans behaving poorly towards one another, but the film, based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book about the WWII experience of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, collapses upon itself as merely an incredibly well-intentioned portrait of human resilience. It seems rather untoward to write the film off as dull or uninspiring, and while it certainly has patches that could be described as such, Jolie, directing from a script written by the Coen brothers and Richard Lagravenese, has simply made a very dry, straightforward film about a man whose experiences as a captive of the Japanese army were »
- Nicholas Bell
It probably will be hard to break Unbroken’s record for development time in getting to the screen. Universal had optioned World War II hero Louis Zamperini’s own story in 1957 as a vehicle for Tony Curtis, who was going to star but chose to do Spartacus instead. The project languished for decades until Laura Hillenbrand’s eight-years-in-the-making best-selling book made Zamperini a hot film property again. Angelina Jolie took quick interest in the story, got to know Zamperini and made the movie as her second directorial effort.
Jolie shows an epic command of the screen, whether shooting on water with sharks, crashing B-24s, dealing with the harsh brutality of Japanese prison camps or re-creating the 1936 Olympic Games. All of this was a part of Zamperini’s remarkable story, and Jolie not only has captured the scope of it all — with the key help of 11-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins — but most important, »
- Pete Hammond
Just one week after the first trailer debuted for The Last Five Years, RADiUS-twc has released the first poster. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan star as a young couple whose five-year-relationship unfolds in writer-director Richard Lagravenese's romance, which was acquired by RADiUS-twc back in September. There are two sides to every love story, as you can see in several images from this couple's five-year relationship on the new one-sheet.
The Last Five Years by Tony award winning composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie Wellerstein is a young, talented up and coming novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through songs using an intercutting time line device; all of Cathy's songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in »
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new sports drama “Unbroken” from director Angelina Jolie about the true story of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini!
“Unbroken,” which opens on Dec. 25, 2014 and is rated “PG-13,” stars Jack O’Connell as Louie Zamperini along with Garrett Hedlund, Ken Watanabe, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney, Finn Wittrock, Morgan Griffin, Alex Russell, Sophie Dalah and Takamasa Ishihara from director and producer Angelina Jolie and writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
To win your free “Unbroken” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
I don't know what director Angelina Jolie thinks her movie Unbroken is, but the last thing it seems to be is the story of Louis Zamperini, the Olympian and war hero whose life story was told in Laura Hillenbrand's New York Times-bestselling book "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption". Major milestones in Zamperini's early life are turned into cheap catchphrases such as "If you can take it, you can make it" while his 47 days at sea after his plane went down and his time in Japanese Pow camps are either cheaply rendered as if they were shot in a Beverly Hills pool, or so focused on Zamperini's suffering that nothing more than Jolie's determination to show said suffering comes across, rather than tell the story of the man (and his fellow captors) that survived the trials they faced. How Hillenbrand's book was turned into this travesty is unfathomable. »
- Brad Brevet
The Golden Globe and SAG nominations are in, and there is one more award show announcing its noms before the Oscars say who's up in January: the Critics' Choice Awards. There are some new names within the Critics' Choice, generally because they also award in the comedy and action categories, but there are also some titles in the main categories not previously nominated, like Unbroken. The Critics' Choice Awards air Jan. 15, so check out the full list here. Best Picture Birdman Boyhood Gone Girl The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game Nightcrawler Selma The Theory of Everything Unbroken Whiplash Best Actor Michael Keaton, Birdman Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler David Oyelowo, Selma Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything Best Actress Jennifer Aniston, Cake Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything Julianne Moore, Still Alice Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon, Wild Marion Cotillard, »
Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" tops the nominations for the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards brought to you by the Broadcast Film Critics Association of which I'm a proud voting member! Our deadline to vote for the nomination round was last Friday and I'm happy to say that most of my favorites made it to the final ballot!
"Birdman," which received 13 nods is now competing with "Boyhood," "Gone Girl," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "Nightcrawler," "Selma," "The Theory of Everything," "Unbroken," and "Whiplash" for the Best Picture of the Year!
The winners for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards will be revealed live on A&E from the Hollywood Palladium on January 15th at 9pm Et/ 6pm Pt. Coincidentally, this is the same day the Academy Award nominations will be announced. Legendary Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan will serve as the show.s host.
Birdman is clearly a favorite this awards season, at least when it comes to nominations as it once again tops a list of nominees, this time the 2015 Critics Choice Awards as it leads the field with 13 total nominations followed by The Grand Budapest Hotel, which continues to surge this awards season with 11 nominations, and Boyhood with eight. Full disclosure, I'm part of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca), which nominates and votes on these awards, but I'm a little nervous my nominees this year weren't counted as I mistakenly missed the deadline by a few hours thinking it was on Saturday, not Friday. Oops, though looking at these nominations it doesn't seem as if it would have mattered. For example, I don't see Locke anywhere, Carrie Coon (Gone Girl) didn't get a supporting actress nomination, A Most Wanted Man didn't get an adapted screenplay nomination, no nomination for The Raid 2 in Best Action Movie, »
- Brad Brevet
The noms for Angelina Jolie (“Unbroken”) and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) mean that two of the six director contenders are women. Among the films earning more attention than in this year’s previous kudos announcements: “Interstellar” (seven); “Guardians of the Galaxy” (five) and “Unbroken” (four).
The voting, by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., is one of the more reliable Oscar predictors, in terms of winners. The group has matched the eventual Oscar-winning best pic in 12 of the last 15 years.
As for nominations, the Ccma are a good guide for what’s popular in awards conversations, but several factors limit the noms’ powers as an Oscar omen.
For one thing, this group cites six contenders in most categories, compared to five from the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Continuing its romp through the critics kudos this awards season, Fox Searchlight’s Birdman drew a whopping 13 nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. In fact it’s a big day for Fox in general as Searchlight’s March release, The Grand Budapest Hotel was remembered to the tune of 11 nominations, while big Fox scored 6 nominations with Gone Girl. All three compete for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and significant acting nods. This is a big boost in particular for Budapest, coming on the heels of its SAG nod for Outstanding Cast as well as four key Golden Globe nominations. Usually films opening as early as March are largely forgotten when it comes to Best Picture attention, but Budapest could be a rare exception in recent years if this triumph for the Wes Anderson comedy is repeated at the Oscars. The last film that opened as early as March, »
- Pete Hammond
Wamg has your passes to the advance screening of one of this year’s most talked about films – Unbroken.
Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s enormously popular book, the upcoming epic drama starring Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund & Finn Wittrock opening in theaters on December 25th, 2014!
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
- Movie Geeks
Sneak Peek a new trailer revealing footage from the feature "The Last Five Years", director Richard Lagravenese's adaptation of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, chronicling a love affair and marriage taking place over a five year period, starring Anna Kendrick:
"...'Jamie Wellerstein' a young, talented up and coming novelist falls in love with 'Cathy Hiatt' (Kendrick), a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Last Five Years"...
- Michael Stevens
The Last Five Years, the off-Broadway musical from Tony-winning composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown, is now a film from writer/director Richard Lagravenese. It stars Anna Kendrick, who is also in Disney’s musical Into the Woods, opening later this month. While this film premiered at Tiff, it won’t open in the Us until February. But you can see […]
The post ‘The Last Five Years’ Trailer: Anna Kendrick Has a New Musical appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Anna Kendrick is gaining quite the reputation as a songstress. Back in 2012 Kendrick completely wowed me, and just about everyone else in the world, with her vocal work in Pitch Perfect. Just last week we got our first listen at her fantastic rendition of "On the Steps of the Palace" from the upcoming Into the Woods. And now we're getting our first full look at yet another upcoming musical of hers, The Last Five Years. Richard Lagravenese's adaptation of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical covers the entire five year history of Cathy (Kendrick) and Jamie's (Jeremy Jordan) love story. But The Last Five Years isn't quite your typical musical movie. For one thing, the film is sung-through, meaning the story is told almost entirely through music with very little dialogue. It also has an unconventional narrative hook - the story is told from both Jamie and Cathy's point »
- Haleigh Foutch
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