Aug 262006

World_Trade_Center.jpgTwo Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Directed by
Oliver Stone

Drama, History

Maria Bello, Connor Paolo, Anthony Piccininni, Alexa Gerasimovich, Morgan Flynn, Will Jimeno, Armando Riesco, Jay Hernandez, Jon Bernthal, Nicolas Cage, William Jimeno, Nick Damici

I went with friends to see this movie last night. There will of course inevitably be films made about 9-11 and they will no doubt take many different approaches in telling their stories. This film, the second major effort at depicting the 9-11 attacks, approaches the story head-on, literally from Ground Zero, from the viewpoint of some of those most directly involved in the incident: Rescue Workers. The fact that this film was directed by Oliver Stone was/is a surprise. The film is benign in the sense that it does not postulate about what happened that day and why, which is not your typical Stone movie. Instead, it takes its time telling an intimate story about a group of Rescue Workers caught up in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and their battle to survive/escape an unimaginable hell.

The film works because Stone takes the time to flush out his characters; we genuinely care about these people and feel their emotions as things turned from bad to worse that day. Cage, Bello, Pena, play their roles all right, making us aware that 9-11 affected “ordinary people” and caused them to perform in an extraordinary way. But Cage especially did some over-acting in this film.

All in all, an OK film. While it is big-budgeted and full of big names, it simply tells one of MANY stories to be told on that day effectively and faithfully.

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Comments (1)
  1. I saw this last weekend myself. One thing I think the movie brought out was how difficult it’s going to be to actually ever replicate the full disaster on film. You’ll notice the shots were tight (never focused on the buildings in wide shots as they burned or collapsed). Of the few shots which were included as wide views, you could tell it was obviously inserted TV footage. For a director like Steven Spielburg to have to resort to such a cheezy tactic like that says something about the complexity of ever portraying the real deal. How is that ever going to be possible? I know sooner or later someone will eventually do it in time, but I was surprised that it wasn’t him in this movie. That being said, I realize this film was more about the people than the visual awe of the disaster. On the plus side, he did get a good shot of the cloud bomb that rolled by as the buildings collapsed. A tidal wave of debri.

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