I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. I have so many feelings about it. And there is so much to say. There’s the actual history on which it is based. There’s the amazing ensemble cast, including Sean Penn’s Oscar-winning turn. There’s Dustin Lance Black’s amazing script, which also won an Oscar. But then there’s this anger I get when I watch it because I think about the fall of 2008. This film was released on November 26th, a few weeks after the 2008 election, which in California included the passage of Prop 8. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the film had been released earlier. Would it have had an impact? I just wish the studio had thought to try. When it did get released it played at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco for quite a while. That is where I first saw it (I’d just moved earlier in 2008 from Berkeley to San Francisco) and I’ve got to say it just made the whole election all the more bittersweet. Upon several revisits to this film I think this is the superior film from 2008 and it should have gone home with the big prize. But I can see why it didn’t. It’s a film about a very polarizing issue and Slumdog Millionaire was (marketed as) a feel-good film. In the long run I think Milk will be the film people will return to time and again. Milk was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two: Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Supporting Actor Josh Brolin, Best Actor Sean Penn (won), Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader and winner Slumdog Millionaire.
I hadn’t seen this movie until last weekend. I have no idea why I waited so long to see it. I mean, it has a stellar cast and Clint Eastwood is a favorite of mine (as a writer and a director). It’s also based on Dennis Lehane novel (who also wrote the novels on which Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone were based), with a screenplay written by Brian Helgeland (who shares an Oscar with Curtis Hanson for their on L.A. Confidential). Despite all of that, it took me nearly a decade to actually watch the film. Boy was it worth the wait. It’s probably one of the most tense films I’d ever seen. It was nominated for six Oscars winning two: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Marcia Gay Harden, Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins (won), Best Actor Sean Penn (won), Best Director and Best Picture. Incidentally, this was the first time Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor had come from the same film since 1959′s Ben-Hur. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Seabiscuit and winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
This poster seems to emphasize the domestic aspects of Terrence Malick’s newest films that promises to span millennia, including the origins of life – an dinosaurs! – as well as a look at the life of a boy’s relationship with his father. Brad Pitt is the father in the 1950s (or so) and Sean Penn plays the grown up version of the son. I absolutely love everything that Malick has ever done and am more than excited for this film.
The film is set to premiere on May 16, 2011 at the Cannes Film Festival before opening wide on May 27, 2011 in the United States.
First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Where’s your spark now?
buy the Criterion DVD or Blu-ray here!
This is so exciting! Terrence Malick is my favorite director and The Thin Red Line is one of my Top Ten Favorite movies of all time. The news leaked a few weeks ago, but I was waiting for the cover artwork to get released before writing about it. I actually thought Fox or someone would release a ten-year anniversary edition in 2008 but that never happened. I may already own the crap Fox War Classics version of this film on DVD, but I also own two versions of Malick’s The New World. so I have no qualms about buying this again.
DVD/Blu-Ray specs after the cut.
Malick was one of the most acclaimed directors in the 1970s, with two highly acclaimed dramas – 1973′s Badlands and 1978′s Days of Heaven. He then disappeared for nearly twenty years before production of The Thin Red Line started. The result is an astounding WWII ensemble based on the novel of the same name by James Jones (who’s other book, From Here To Eternity was turned into a film in 1953 and won 8 Oscars). There is a version of The Thin Red Line from 1964 that I’m told is more true to the book; I’ve yet to see it. I also don’t really care if it’s more true to the book because I love what Malick did with this story. This film is one of my Top Ten Films of All Time. It was nominated for 7 Oscars in 1998 although it didn’t win a single award. It was up against Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare In Love, Elizabeth and Life Is Beautiful.