Sunday, January 3, 2010

Review: The Hurt Locker

For me this movie was the biggest surprise of the year. It was the most hard-hitting movie I've seen since No Country for Old Men. It was so exciting, I was biting my nails throughout the entire movie.
SSgt. William James (Jeremy Renner) joins a bomb squad in Iraq in order to disarm as many bombs as possible. He's also an adrenalin-addict who does not seem to care about the danger of death at all and this causes a lot of arguments and fights between him and Ssgt Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), who's responsible James' security. This seems to be quite a thin storyline, but there's much more in the inside.
The movie successfully tries to prove that war is a drug and it's a bad thing. I know that this sounds very cheesy, but actually I got a lot out of this movie and I liked the way it dealt with these very current problems.
Kathryn Bigelow, no doubt, deserves to win the Best Director Oscar. She is able to keep your attention, her direction moves you to tears, makes you grab your seat during some real terrific and devastatingly perfect scenes. Especially the one when SPOILER SSgt. James tries to remove a bomb from the chest of a native man shouting all the time "I don't want to die!". That's one of the best-directed and acted scenes that I've ever seen.
The screenplay is also worthy of the award: the story, the character development, the dialogues, EVERYTHING is perfect about it and I really hope that the Academy recognises this not too showy, but magnificently accurate screenplay.
There are some great performances escpecially the ones by Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. Jeremy Renner has a great chance of being nominated for the first time and although a win would be to much for him, a nomination would be very well-deserved. He gives a very mature and subtle performance and although before watching this movie I had only seen him in Senior Trip, I believe now that he's one of the most talented actors of his generation.
Yet, I believe that the greatest performance is given by Anthony Mackie, who gives (mark my words) the best supporting performance by a male actor. His last scene was so emotional, that it haunts me to this day. Unfortunately, he's not likely to receive the nomination and the win that he deserves in my opinion. But I really hope that the Academy surprises us and he gets a nomination like Michael Shannon last year (with the exception that he will deserve it).
The technical part is also one to praise: the cinematography and the editing are top-class and so is everything else about this movie, which is in my opinion the Best Pictre of 2009.
My grade: 10(!)/10
Possible nominations: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor (Renner); Best Supporting Actor (Mackie, PLEASE!); Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing


Anonymous said...

It was a mixed bag for me. But, I'll probably watch it again once the noms. are announced.

joe burns said...

I want to see this film, but I don't think it's playing where I live anymore.