Blood Diamond (2006)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA/Germany, 2006.  Warner Bros., Virtual Studios, Spring Creek Productions, , , Liberty Pictures, Lonely Film Productions GmbH & Co. KG..  Story by , , Screenplay by Charles Leavitt.  Cinematography by .  Produced by ,, , , Edward Zwick.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

For all the film has going for it, this should be an instant classic: a top-notch cast, gorgeous photography, a strong story, a proven director and an incredibly important subject all do their part. When it comes together it doesn’t amount to much more than a familiar drama with its structure imported from issue movies of the 40s, and a globally relevant theme to make it appropriate for today.

Leonardo DiCaprio is superb as a mercenary smuggler who aids a corrupt industry by taking conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone and secretly bringing them to Liberia where they are cleaned up and sold to the willfully blind diamond market. Djimon Hounsou (also excellent) plays a villager who is separated from his family during a murderous raid by armed rebels and forced to work in the diamond mines.

After Hounsou’s being liberated, the two meet and DiCaprio discovers that his new friend hid a giant pink diamond in the dirt before leaving the mine, prompting him to do whatever it takes to get Hounsou to show him where it is.

Jennifer Connelly enters the picture as a journalist looking to prove her suspicion that the world isn’t as free of blood diamonds as the giant jewel companies would have you believe.

Each performance is of the highest quality, and it’s nice to finally see Connelly laugh without pain in a movie, but it’s far too stodgy and old-fashioned for the cutting-edge epic it wants to be, with a conclusion straight out of an old Humphrey Bogart adventure but without the wise irony.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio); Best Supporting Actor (Djimon Hounsou); Best Film Editing; Best Sound Mixing; Best Sound Editing

Golden Globe Award NominationsBest Actor-Drama (Leonardo DiCaprio)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations:  Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio); Best Supporting Actor (Djimon Hounsou)

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