Blood Diamond (2006)

EDWARD ZWICK

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 .  Academy Awards 2006Golden Globe Awards 2006Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2006National Board of Review Awards 2006.  Washington Film Critics Awards 2006.

For all the film has going for it, Blood Diamond 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. On the flipside, 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 being liberated, the two meet and DiCaprio discovers that Hounsou had hidden 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. Meanwhile, 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 trying to be straight out of an old Humphrey Bogart adventure but feels more like it comes from an old Bette Davis movie instead.

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