In what will probably be the last featured movie of the week of 2014, I have decided that I will attend a screening of the feature length directorial debut of Angelina Jolie. Unbroken is an adaptation of the incredible life of Louis Zamperini, chronicling his youth to when he was an Olympic standout in track and field, turned WWII soldier to Japanese POW. Zamperini’s life is an incredible true story of determination, survival and resilience in the face of insurmountable adversity and it is the kind of story that can only do justice converted into feature length motion picture.
What am I expecting to see?: I’m of the opinion that the American film industry desperately needs more women directors and for Angelina Jolie to throw her name into that pool is respectable. She has chosen to direct a lofty and ambitious tale about an inspirational figure adapted from Laura Hilenbrand’s novel by the Coen Brothers with Richard Lagravenese and William Nicholson and I commend the production team for setting a lofty goal. The cast doesn’t look like much but that is not a slight to Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney, Garrett Hedlund, Takamasa Ishihara, John D’Leo or Ken Watanabe. This looks like the type of movie that could contend at the Oscars as it preaches a message about hope in the face of adversity, perseverance, blah, blah, blah, but I think Jolie is capable of giving Louis Zamperini’s story enough weight to be taken seriously.