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united 93

chrysalid

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Apr 17, 2006
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watched united 93 last night - i reckon it's the best film of the decade so far. the direction is spot on, i didn't like greengrass's style in the bourne supremacy, the more restrained doug liman was far better imo, but in this film the shakey-cam and cross cutting give a great sense of realism and is used as a tool to crank up the tension to (for me at least) near breaking point. the narrative structure, with the total lack of any character histories and pretty much real-time time-span, ensured that any melodrama was kept to a bare minimum, thus negating any possible suggestions of hollywood exploitation. the soundtrack had lots of real life hub-bub, but unlike other films that utilise this, you don't have to strain at all to pick out what the main characters are saying. the musical score was brilliantly restrained, a delicate sprinkling of sombre classical here and there just to suggest foreboding (the total opposite to the da vinci code which had a constant fucking full blown orchestral score to patronisingly spell out exactly what the audience should be feeling at any point in the film - it drove me fucking mad and was an example of some of the laziest film making i have ever seen - shame on you ron howard, i do quite fancy your daughter though). the performances were all very good, there was a slight whiff of amatuer about them, but given the dramatised-documentary sort of style of the film, i felt this added to the authenticity, and was far preferable to having some hollywood star, probably dragging along their own real life political baggage, constantly vying for recognition and trying to prove that he or she is more than just a pretty face they really can act and i'd like to thank the academy...fuck off. finally, and though it shouldn't really matter in regards to the film, i'm very glad that the makers quietly got the permission, and quite often full participation, of many of the families of the victims, this is for me, if you'll excuse the over-sacchariney cliche, the cherry on top.

i hope this hasn't come off as sounding gushing or glib, the film does not go any where near representing the true horror felt by those involved in that awful tragedy (and any other real-life tragedy around the world). as a work of art though, comparative to other films or poetry (sassoon?) or paintings (guernica?) that portray horrifying real-life events, i honestly feel united 93 is up there with the very best.
 

DNW

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
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10,527
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Good review. My girlfriend and I saw the trailer for United 93 while we were at the theatre for the Da Vinci Code. She had tears in her eyes before the trailer was over. We might see it some day, but my girlfriend isn't ready for it yet (and I suspect many other Americans as well).
 

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