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Angelina Jolie takes a conventional but confident approach to directing the amazing life story of Louis Zamperini. Jack O'Connell (
) gives a lion-hearted performance as the self-proclaimed regular guy who competed in the Berlin Olympics in 1936. But Zamperini's life took some terrible turns and he survived extraordinary circumstances. While serving in the US Air Force in the Second World War, he crashes in the Pacific Ocean and is cast adrift. He is saved, only to be thrown into a PoW camp where Japanese commander "The Bird" (Takamara Ishihara) singles him out for special punishment. But Zamperini's heroic run in Berlin provides him with the inspiration to keep on keeping on. If Jolie denies us a more complex portrayal of the man, she makes up for it with visceral scenes of struggle, which are well balanced with Zamperini's bright, unrelenting optimism. He eventually died at the age of 97, just months before the film's release, but this depiction of his undoubted physical and emotional stamina certainly lifts the spirit.
An Olympic athlete enlists in the US Air Force during the Second World War. When his plane is shot down, he and two crewmates survive for 33 days lost at sea. Worse is to come when they are captured by Japanese forces, and he endures brutal treatment in a PoW camp run by an infamous war criminal. Fact-based Second World War drama, directed by Angelina Jolie and starring Jack O'Connell and Domhnall Gleeson.
Cast & Crew
Jack O'Connell (2)
Russell Allen "Phil" Phillips
Francis "Mac" McNamara
Hugh "Cup" Cuppernell
Frank A Tinker
DVD and Blu-ray
26 Dec 2014
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