Probably the only World War II movie I’ve seen that made me feel as though I was there. This is a film that tells small stories about a random group of GIs embroiled in the famous Battle of the Bulge, rather than trying to tell some giant sweeping epic. A novel approach that imbues the movie with a sense of realism very difficult to achieve. Everything was a little unclear, sometimes confusing, disorienting and unnerving, perfectly capturing the uncertainty sometimes called the “fog of war”. No carefully choreographed fight sequences covered by a million cameras, this was instead up close and highly personal. Sudden lightning fast flurries of combat that make you jump out of your skin interspersed with heartbreaking introspective narration. I found myself getting lightheaded and realized I was repeatedly holding my breath. I nearly asphyxiated myself during the scene with the lone soldier running across a snow covered mine field. This is a beautiful tapestry of hundreds of seemingly insignificant acts or in some cases, deliberate inaction. I was alternately moved, horrified, sickened, hopeful and deeply proud of these superb examples of what is rightly called The Greatest Generation. My personal favorite introduction was that of Heinrich, who says in a regrettable German accent, “I’m not a Kraut. I’m an American!” Plenty of grit and gore but none of it feels gratuitous, simply an accurate portrayal of combat. I had a grandfather and 11 great uncles that served in World War II and while they’re all gone now, every one of them came home safely. Movies like this are a wonderful tribute to those who have fought and died for the freedoms we often take for granted today. A gorgeous film that deserves every accolade. – BETHANY
For more on this deeply personal labor of love, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1209319/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
I decided against putting captions on these pictures because pretty much anything I could say would detract from the image.
Photos courtesy of One-Eighty Films, Virgil Films & Entertainment and X-Factor Entertainment