Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1987. Amblin Entertainment, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Tom Stoppard, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard. Cinematography by Allen Daviau. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Norman Reynolds. Costume Design by Bob Ringwood. Film Editing by Michael Kahn. Academy Awards 1987. Golden Globe Awards 1987. National Board of Review Awards 1987.
Christian Bale stars as a British boy living in Shanghai who is separated from his parents and taken to a prisoner of war camp when the Japanese invade the city. All alone and with no one to lean on for support, the boy comes up with his own sense of survival and befriends all those around him, including fellow British prisoners, American pilots and even his Japanese captors. The experience colours him to the point where he is no longer the same boy when he finally reunites with his parents in the end. Adapted from the autobiographical novel by J.G. Ballard (who also wrote Crash), the film is beautifully photographed and directed with great skill by Spielberg, who makes every detail a painstakingly impactive one. Supporting cast is also a standout, including John Malkovich and a relatively unknown (at least in the States at the time) Miranda Richardson.