Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In the Valley of Elah

Paul Haggis, 2007 (8.3*)
I was pleasantly surprised by this small film that got absolutely no PR at all. It quietly slipped past most people. Tommy Lee Jones turns in perhaps his finest performance as a dad hunting for his AWOL son who's returned from Iraq and disappeared, garnering a well-deserved Oscar nomination for best actor. Charlize Theron is also excellent, in little makeup, brown hair pulled back in a bun, as a no nonsense police detective - also one of her best performances. Susan Sarandon doesn't have a lot to do in this, as the mother of the missing, Tommy Lee's wife, but still, an excellent cast of three Oscar winners!

This is a story that slowly unfolds, and is a real mystery, the kind you don't often see anymore, as we normally know who the killer is, and when there's no mystery it becomes a crime/suspense story, such as The Silence of the Lambs. This one is not only very well made, but is based on a true story as well.


Okami June 19, 2009 at 7:16 PM  

We rented this film and enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the review and recommendation.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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