Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Films Based on True Events

For the third week of June 2017 as part of the Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. We go into movies based on true events where it play into dramatized stories about real things that happened whether it’s historical or something that is personal but really happened. Here are my three picks as they’re all directed by Michael Winterbottom:

1. The Road to Guantanamo

In a project co-directed with Mat Whitecross, this film about the Tipton Three in which three British-Pakistani men were sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba from Afghanistan as they were accused of being involved in the events relating to 9/11. In this mixture of documentary and fiction, the film features an early performance from Riz Ahmed as one of the three men who was accused of being part of Al-Qaeda. It showcases the horror of what goes on at Guantanamo Bay as well as a period in time after 9/11 in which America and Britain become consumed with fear and paranoia.

2. A Mighty Heart

In this film about Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder in early 2002 in Pakistan, the film is a dramatized story largely told by his wife Mariane as she wonders where her husband is. Featuring Angelina Jolie in one of her finest performances as Mariane and Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl, it’s a film that might be conventional for someone like Winterbottom to make but he doesn’t go for usual tropes expected in a film like this. Especially as Winterbottom would go for something more of a cinema verite style to create some realism into the drama.

3. The Look of Love

In his fourth of several collaborations so far with actor Steve Coogan, Winterbottom’s bio-pic about the controversial British pornographer and real estate mogul Paul Raymond is a witty and unconventional film though it is very flawed due to its very uneven script. Still, it features a winning performance from Coogan yet it’s Imogen Poots that is the real standout as Raymond’s daughter Debbie as a young woman eager to try to make it as an entertainer but her lack of talent would prevent that as she would die tragically. Despite some of its drawbacks in featuring too many party scenes, it is still one of Winterbottom’s more intriguing films.

© thevoid99 2017


Katie Hogan said...

Not seen any of these films BUT I have read about them. The mixture of documentary and reenactment interests me. I did want to see Look of Love even though Coogan has begun to annoy me in his later years. I won't be watching A Mighty Heart - can't stand Jolie.

Birgit said...

I heard of the first 2 but not the last one. The first one just seems a bit too heavy for my taste... but I could be wrong. I do want to see the second movie which sounds quite good and I know it didn't do all that well so I figured it must be good.

pilch92 said...

A Mighty Heart was excellent. I have not seen the other two, but they look interesting.

Anonymous said...

A Mighty Heart was a really powerful film. I genuinely felt like I was watching the real thing, because of how much the movie got into the atmosphere and feelings of Marianne Pearl.

Dell said...

I haven't seen any of these, but I have been meaning to see A Mighty Heart. Glad to hear about some unfamiliar movies to check out.

Anonymous said...

And if you're interested, here's a link to my review of A Mighty Heart. Would love to know your thoughts.

Alex Withrow said...

Nice inclusion of A Mighty Heart. I agree, a seemingly conventional film that manages to avoid tropes of the genre. And Jolie is incredible in it. Wish more people saw and talked about that movie.