Monday, January 26, 2009

MOVIE: In The Valley Of Elah

It has been a good week for movies at Chateau McDougal. And I struck gold yet again with In The Valley Of Elah. Never heard of it (came out in 2007) until a friend recommended it. And I'm glad he did. Superb movie on multiple levels. And the fact that it did not get its due recognition from the media and critics borders on criminal.

Fairly simple premis: A retired military investigator (Tommy Lee Jones) works with a police detective (Charlize Theron) to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

The acting is exceptional. The direction masterfully shifted between Iraq flashbacks and criminal interviews and detective work. Oh! Did I mention Susan Sarandon? She is the kid's mother and adds even more layers to this already complex puzzle. Again, brilliant performances on all parts. Wonderful dialog. Perceptive and insightful writing. Fantastic pacing. Everything is ellusive and questionable right up until the final few minutes. 

Very very very enjoyable. Would have made a great date movie. (Yet another good one that I wish I had seen with Cindy.) Not good for the kids. Maybe interesting for the late teens. Certainly worth renting or marking on Netflix. Wish I had seen this earlier and wish I had watched it with the love of my life. It's just that good.

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