Tag: Rosamund Pike

Image courtesy of Aviron Pictures.

** ½ (out of 4)

Marie Colvin was a journalist whom even Donald Trump would be hard-pressed not to admire. Throughout the 1990s, she provided on-the-ground coverage of conflicts in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and East Timor, documenting in graphic detail the toll that combat took on civilians. Even after she lost an eye to a grenade in 2001, moreover, Colvin refused to call it quits. After reporting on the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, she almost got beaten to death during the 2011 protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And when civil war erupted in Syria, she snuck into the rebel stronghold of Homs, eventually meeting her demise in an artillery attack that was deliberately orchestrated by the Syrian government.

Given that Colvin was such a daring and colorful character, Matthew Heineman’s new biopic of her, A Private War, could easily have been an adrenaline-boosting thriller à la Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead, the defining mood of A Private War is one of overwhelming, funereal despair.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

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** (out of 4)

2016 played host to two movies about interracial marriage. The first, Jeff Nichols’ Loving, wasn’t flawless, but it studiously avoided flash in its attempt to show that Mildred and Richard Loving were just an ordinary couple unwillingly thrust into the spotlight. The second is A United Kingdom — another true story, but this time about Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the king of the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (today the country of Botswana), and his controversial decision in 1947 to marry a white Englishwoman named Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). Oyelowo and Pike are both grade-A actors — he was MLK in Selma, she Amazing Amy in Gone Girl — so you’d think that with people like them involved, this movie would be able to do good with its subject matter.

Unfortunately, if Loving just fell short of perfection, A United Kingdom isn’t even minimally decent: it’s unsubtle, superficial, and a rundown of one too many clichés about racism and love.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals