2013: #8 Captain Phillips

Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Written by: Billy Ray
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Michael Chernus, and Catherine Keener
Distributer: Columbia
Country: USA
Language: English/Somali
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 134 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Date released: 10/11/2013
Date seen: 10/12/2013
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $217 Million
# of Oscar nominations: 6 (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 5 (Best Set-Piece, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Actor)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 1 (Best Actor)

I’ve been a fan of Paul Greengrass for a while now and I’m pretty happy to see that he was able to find yet another project that seems almost tailor made for his skillset.  Here he’s working with a story that is, in the grand scheme of things, much less important than the story he was telling with United 93 but those lowered stakes give him an opportunity to stop and explore things in a little more depth.  The film is on one level a simple story of a couple guy’s dealing with a tense situation, but it’s also the circumstances that separate them.  On the deck of the Maersk Alabama the differences between the first and third worlds are on full display and Billy Ray’s script does a great job of seeing things from both sides.  He takes the time to understand what motivates the Somali pirates without condoning their behavior and he also manages to question the possible over-reaction of the U.S. military without condemning the individual decision makers that made it happen.  Add to this a pair of really great performances and some very exciting direction and you’ve got a pretty clear win for all involved.  The one thing holding me back from really coronating the film is that I think it was perhaps made a little too soon after the real life event upon which it is based and that killed some of its suspense and surprise.
Full Review

#9 Year End Honors #7

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