Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA/United Kingdom, 2007. Paramount Vantage, Plan B Entertainment, Revolution Films. Screenplay by John Orloff, based on the book by Marianne Pearl. Cinematography by Marcel Zyskind. Produced by Andrew Eaton, Dede Gardner, Brad Pitt. Music by Harry Escott, Molly Nyman. Production Design by Mark Digby. Costume Design by Charlotte Walter. Film Editing by Peter Christelis. Golden Globe Awards 2007. Independent Spirit Awards 2007. National Board of Review Awards 2007.
True-life story of Daniel and Mariane Pearl is given solid treatment by director Michael Winterbottom. The Pearls (Dan Futterman, Angelina Jolie) are journalists stationed in Karachi, Pakistan who have their world upended when he is kidnapped by an Islamic fundamentalist group and she, six months pregnant, is left wondering about his fate. Daniel’s colleagues from the Wall Street Journal arrive to help out and Mariane is given ample assistance from local authorities to investigate the case thoroughly, but will any of it be enough to save an American Jew being held hostage by Muslim extremists post-9/11? Those who remember the story that made front-page news will already be clued in to its outcome, but even as such there is a lot to be gleaned from the experience. Winterbottom avoids any kind of emotional overindulgence, telling a straightforward story that benefits greatly from Jolie’s strong, completely underplayed performance.