After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
The life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who joined the armed forces during the second world war. Only to be captured by the Japanese navy after a plane crash in the Pacific. During his capture, Louie must continue his fight by surviving through the war. Written by
There were no parachutes aboard the B-24 in any of the scenes aboard the aircraft. See more »
We are here.
At 8,000 feet. This is it, boys.
You got it, Zamp?
[dialing in bombing scope]
You hit this one, drinks are on me.
I ain't going to a bar with you, handsome. You confuse all the broads.
Get your cameras, boys. I'm gonna light it up like Christmas.
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As Jack O'Connoll was getting acclaim for his performance in Brit thriller '71 towards the end of last year his star was beginning to burn even brighter by getting the lead role in Angelina Jolie's upcoming UNBROKEN . Cue lots of interviews with Jackie boy along the lines of "so what's it like working with Angelina ?" along with hints the film was going to be a major contender at the Oscars . Of all the films from last year this was the obvious Oscar bait . So obvious in fact that there's an element it might have alienated the voters in to searching around in independent cinema for its winners
O'Connoll plays Luis Zamperini an American from an Italian immigrant family who becomes an Olympic athlete . While he's at the peak of his career war breaks out and enlists as a bombardier of a B-25 and finds himself flying missions in the Pacific where he's shot down and spends several weeks in a life raft where he's captured by a passing Japanese ship and put in to a brutal POW camp
This is the sort of movie that has the Oscar academy falling over themselves to throw awards at - an epic true life story of the triumph of the human spirit . Or rather it used to and for many years the Academy has been rather unpredictable and somewhat surprising in what its tastes are and what films they nominate and give awards to and there's a strong element in UNBROKEN that it's maybe trying a little too hard , almost as if it's looking at prospective awards ceremonies with sad puppy dog eyes pleading for prestigious recognition . There's also an element that nowadays the second world war is almost as well remembered as say The Napoleonic or Crimean wars and war films featuring WWII need to bring something a little bit different to the table such as the outstanding technical achievements of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN , the no holds barred war porn of FURY , or the post modernist lunacy of INGLORIOUS BASTERDS . In comparison UNBROKEN comes across as being traditional almost to the point of being painfully old hat
Not to be too negative UNBROKEN has a well structured screenplay by the Coen brothers , the sadistic brutally of the Japanese is emphasised , Roger Deakins once again shows us he's the best cinematographer working today and O'Connoll is Luis Zamperini and never thought for a second I was watching a young British up and coming actor playing an all American hero . That said it its motive with having one eye on awards means there's something missing that makes it an outstanding film and it's never better than being a competent tale about surviving against all the odds
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