Unbroken premieres Christmas Day

Courtesy of imdb.com

Courtesy of imdb.com

Angelia Jolie’s second directorial project, Unbroken, will be opening in theaters universally December 25.
According to imdb.com, Unbroken portrays the true-life story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who became a prisoner of Japanese forces during World War II.
The film’s director is well known for her Oscar winning performance as Lisa in the 1999 movie, Girl, Interrupted. She has also starred in roles such as Maleficent in Disney’s 2014 movie Maleficent. Jolie’s 2011 directorial debut film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, a Bosnian war drama, proved that the actress has skill in the directing department as well.
Jack O’Connell, known for his work in Calisto in 300: Rise of an Empire, will take to the screen as Louis, the most significant role he has received to date. In an interview with deadline.com, O’Connell said that he believes Unbroken is his “best piece of work yet.”

Courtesy of imdb.com
Courtesy of imdb.com

Several critics, as well as the Oscar voters, have already viewed a screening of the film.
According to deadline.com, Unbroken is the “last realistic Best Picture contender to debut and it has been handicapped, virtually since it went into production, as the one to beat.”
The article goes on to say that while some viewers had “mixed reviews,” they at least seemed to “admire it.”
This is most likely because although initially energetic, the second half becomes hard to watch. While a prisoner of Japanese forces, Zamperini faced severe torture, portrayed quite realistically in the film.
“A person next to me complained about the torture but hey, the movie is called Unbroken for a reason,” deadline.com’s Award Columnist Pete Hammond said. “Jolie thankfully doesn’t sugarcoat the violent aspects of the story (as Steven Spielberg also refused to do in Saving Private Ryan’s harrowing D-Day invasion scenes). And nor should she.”
Todd McCarthy, a film critic at the Hollywood Reporter, shared similar points in his review of the film. He believed that the story of resilience was enthralling, O’Connell’s performance was wonderful, and that the piece looked very realistic, according to his review on hollywoodreporter.com.
“What Jolie succeeds in doing to a substantial degree is representing her hero’s physical ordeal and his tenacious refusal to give up when it would have been very easy to do so,” O’Connell said.
On the other hand, despite having a team of esteemed screenwriters – Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson – some parts of the script appeared underdeveloped.
 “What she and her more than estimable quarter of screenwriters have not entirely pulled off is dramatizing the full range of Louie’s internal suffering, emotional responses and survival mechanisms,” McCarthy said. “Nor have they made any of the secondary characters pop from the anonymous background of prisoner extras. In the great old studio days of the 1930s, writers, directors and actors knew how to give supporting roles real character and sharp identities within a few seconds; such is emphatically not the case here.”
Even with its flaws, the film is a contender for Oscar nominations. In an interview with deadline.com, O’Connell commented on his takeaway from his time as Louis.
“I didn’t realize just how ugly selfishness actually is, and there’s a lot of it in society today,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think I’m going to change anything there. All I can do is hope my example might inspire others, and I certainly learnt a lot of it from Louis.”
Despite the violent scenes, according to hollywoodreporter.com and imdb.com, the film is rated PG-13.
Unbroken will be showing at the AMC Loews Theater in Port Chester at both 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
– Gabrielle Giacomo, Co-Video Content Editor