Friday 22 January 2010
Jim Sheridan's drama of guilt and forgiveness reworks the Danish director Susanne Bier's 2005 film, adding an extra polish to the story of US Army captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), who's missing presumed dead after his helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Back home, his grieving widow (Natalie Portman) and their two young daughters find solace in the tender care of Sam's younger brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), an ex-jailbird whose lifelong delinquency has set him at odds with the family patriarch (Sam Shepard). Months later, Sam returns from the dead, plainly haunted by his ordeal and convinced that his wife and his brother have been more than friends to one another. What Sam endures at the hands of the Taliban makes for a terrible scene that I remembered all too well from the original, dominated by Connie Nielsen and Ulrich Thomsen with an appalled intensity that felt unlikely to be surpassed: it hasn't been, though Portman is extremely good as the baffled and frightened wife caught between the two brothers.
Maguire and Gyllenhaal give honest performances, though they don't really convince as blood. Carey Mulligan, our own current darling, makes a brief but telling appearance as a war widow.
'At times I thought he was me'film
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Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyoncé '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed in low-fi homage to viral video
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track