The Thin Red Line (1998)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1998.  Fox 2000 Pictures, Geisler-Roberdeau, Phoenix Pictures.  Screenplay by Terrence Malick, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , , .  

Poetic, haunting war movie by Terrence Malick (returning to the screen after twenty years) makes a perfect companion piece to Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan: whatever you don’t like about one you’ll love in the other and vice versa.  ably leads a huge cast as a meditative, melancholy soldier who, while stationed in the south Pacific, experiences both the emotional and physical horrors of war. Cast members , Sean Penn, , Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte,  among others all have their opportunities to let their characters ruminate on their feelings and experiences in battle before their eventual fates. Some will find the film too drawn out, but its stunning photography and excellent acting should make it worth anyone’s while. Although Ryan is very tense, this one is terrifying, with an atmosphere that makes one feel as extremely unsafe as a soldier would on the battlefield.

The Criterion Collection:  #536

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Director (Terrence Malick); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Original Score-Drama

Berlin Film Festival Award:  Golden Bear

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