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A Private War (2018)

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One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontline of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.

Director:

Matthew Heineman

Writers:

Marie Brenner (based on the Vanity Fair article "Marie Colvin's Private War" by), Arash Amel
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Popularity
418 ( 67)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosamund Pike ... Marie Colvin
Greg Wise ... Professor David Irens
Alexandra Moen ... Zoe
Tom Hollander ... Sean Ryan
Faye Marsay ... Kate Richardson
Jesuthasan Antonythasan ... Thamilselvan
Raman Srinivasan Raman Srinivasan ... Tamil Group Leader
Natasha Jayetileke ... Sri Lankan Nurse
Nikki Amuka-Bird ... Rita Williams
Amanda Drew Amanda Drew ... Amy Bentham
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Adam Watkins
Fady Elsayed ... Mourad
Tristan Tait Tristan Tait ... US Public Affairs Officer
Corey Johnson ... Norm Coburn
Jamie Dornan ... Paul Conroy
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Storyline

In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London's elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she's witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her -- along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) -- to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Written by Aviron Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Powerful Weapon is the Truth

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent images, language throughout, and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Private War See more »

Filming Locations:

Jordan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,491, 4 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,633,208, 24 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film premiered at TIFF in September 2018. See more »

Quotes

Newspaper Editor: Why is it important, do you think, to see this images? Why is it important for you to be there? Right now you may be one of the only Western journalists in Homs. Our team has just left.
Marie Colvin: For an audience for which any conflict is very far away, this is the reality. There are 28,000 civilians, men, women and children, a city of the cold and hungry, starving, defenseless. There are no telephones. The electricity has been cut off. Families are sharing what they have with relatives and neighbors. I ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Requiem for a Private War
Written & Performed by Annie Lennox
Produced by Annie Lennox & H. Scott Salinas
Mixed by Casey Stone, c.a.s.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Watch it for Rosamund Pike's possibly Oscar-contending performance
19 November 2018 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"A Private War" (2018 release; 110 min.) is a bio-pic about war correspondent Marie Colvin. As the movie opens, we are informed that Colvin began her career as a war correspondent for the Sunday Times in 1986. We then shift to "London, England 200" where she is seen fooling around, and then arguing, with her once (and future) husband. It's not long before Colvin is off to Sri Lanka to investigate an "unreported" war. In an unfortunate incident, Colvin is badly hurt and she loses sight in her left eye altogether, leaving her to wear an eye patch going forward, "just like a pirate" she mocks. Then by 2003, Colvin is off to Iraq... At this point we are 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing area, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from director Matthew Heineman, best known for his outstanding (and Oscar-nominated) documentaries "Cartel Land" and "City of Ghosts". While "A Private War" is not a documentary, it certainly has the feel of one, as Heineman brings us, matter of factly, what is was like to be a woman reporting on the worst of mankind, going in war zones where she was not wanted. "I am compelled", she remarks more than once when asked why she is doing what she's doing. She focuses on the true victims: women and children, the sick and the poor, the homeless and the starving. The movie is staged impressively as we witness many battle scenes and look in astonishment as Colvin dodges bullets buzzing by. But none of that would matter if it weren't for the convincing performance by Rosamund Pike, who looks quite a bit older in this role as compared to her actual age. This is the type of role that Hollywood typically loves to embrace and recognize, and I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Pike will get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Last but not least, couldn't help but notice the wonderful new tune "Requiem for a Private War", by Annie Lennox (it plays over the movie's closing credits).

"A Private War" premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival to positive acclaim. The Sunday matinee screening where I saw this at this weekend was attended poorly (3 people, including myself). Frankly, I don't see this playing in theaters very long. For that, the movie is simply too heavy and downbeat, even with Rosamund Pike's wonderful lead performance. But that doesn't mean this is not a good movie, far from it. I quite enjoyed it (insofar one can really "enjoy" heavy dramas like this). If you have an interest in what life is like for war correspondents in this day and age, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.


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