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Posts Tagged ‘letters from iwo jima’

Letters From Iwo Jima Double-Sided 1 Sheet Movie Poster – Style A

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

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Synopsis:
Sixty-one years ago, US and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island’s soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them.

The Japanese soldiers are sent to Iwo Jima knowing that in all probability they will not come back. Among them are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker who wants only to live to see the face of his newborn daughter; Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), an Olympic equestrian champion known around the world for his skill and his honor; Shimizu (Ryo Kase), a young former military policeman whose idealism has not yet been tested by war; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), a strict military man who would rather accept suicide than surrender.

Leading the defense is Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), whose travels in America have revealed to him the hopeless nature of the war but also given him strategic insight into how to take on the vast American armada streaming in from across the Pacific.

With little defense other than sheer will and the volcanic rock of the island itself, Gen. Kuribayashi’s unprecedented tactics transform what was predicted to be a quick and bloody defeat into nearly 40 days of heroic and resourceful combat.

Almost 7,000 American soldiers were killed on Iwo Jima; more than 20,000 Japanese troops perished. The black sands of Iwo Jima are stained with their blood, but their sacrifices, their struggles, their courage and their compassion live on in the letters they sent home.

Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Shido Nakamura, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase; Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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Oscar Predictions

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

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Helen Mirren (as Queen Elizabeth II) in The Queen

Christie Lemire and David Germain, film writers for the Associated Press predict the Oscar winners. See if you agree. Read on:

With the Academy Awards best-picture category a wide-open affair, Associated Press film writers Christy Lemire and David Germain at least have one thing to disagree about.

For best director and the four acting categories, Lemire and Germain are in complete agreement on who’ll win. Here are their picks (Lemire writes their joint opinion for director and actor, Germain for actress and the supporting categories, while they duke it out over best picture):

BEST PICTURE

Nominees: Babel, The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen.

GERMAIN: I would make a lousy academy member, not only because I lack all applicable talents to become an academy member, but also because I would perpetually vote for losers in the best-picture category.

My favourite films among the five nominees almost never win, and this year, my top three – The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine and Letters From Iwo Jima – are the ones I think are least likely to come away with the prize.

The Queen deserves to win because it’s a masterpiece of economical filmmaking. It packs a lifetime of high drama for Elizabeth II into the single toughest week of her 50-year-plus reign, the span when public opinion turned sharply against her over the royal family’s aloofness after Princess Diana’s death.

Little Miss Sunshine merits second place because it’s an extreme version of all our messed-up kin, presenting an endearing portrait of blood ties strained and regained that, like many stories of family bonds, would be tragic if it wasn’t so funny.

Letters From Iwo Jima should come in third because it’s a grand, gut-wrenching examination of fatal devotion to a lost cause, a compassionate rendering of an enemy Hollywood historically has reviled as Japanese troops fight and die defending the Pacific island.

I would rank the mob tale The Departed next and the ensemble drama Babel last, yet I suspect the best-picture winner will be one of the two.

The Departed is hardly Martin Scorsese’s best work, though the first two-thirds come close before the film concludes with a repetitive bloodbath. Still, it’s enormously entertaining, a breathlessly paced crime epic that’s a reminder of Scorsese’s finer films – making it also a reminder that the academy never has honoured him with the best-picture prize.

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