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Friday, December 15, 2006

GREENLIGHT #99: Blood Diamond (with "Glory" and "In America")

Ann and Les reacted differently to the extreme violence of Blood Diamond (2006.) For Ann, the violence was an integral part of this important story written by Charles Leavitt. For Les, it was just too much. Perhaps at another time of year he may have been more open to it but not during the festive holidays. Both agree, however, that this movie solidifies the acting talents of Leonardo DiCaprio. There wasn't much to like about him and that's why they were so impressed with his ability to engage rather than repel. And they also loved the dramatic moves of Djimon Hounsou whose range in the movie is astounding. They don't say much about Jennifer Connolly's performance but they do say she had great chemistry with Mr. DiCaprio's character even though they appreciate that director Edward Zwicke didn't try to fit a love story into this already packed movie. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a film he prefers by Mr. Zwicke called Glory (1989.) The films stars Matthew Broderick as the lead and narrator Col. Shaw, a white man who is leading the first all-black volunteer regiment in the Union army during the Civil War. Denzel Washington plays an eager recruit who doesn't understand why he's not being welcomed with open arms. It also features a stellar performance by veteran Morgan Freeman. Ann eagerly recommends the first film in which she saw Mr. Hounsou. It's the adapted but true tale of writer & director Jim Sheridan who moved his family to America from Ireland to recover from the death of their infant child and to pursue his dream of being an actor. Sheridan is played by Paddy Considine and his wife is played by Samantha Morton. The two daughters are played by real-life sisters, Emma Bolger and Sarah Bolger. Hounsou played "the scary stranger neighbor who befriends the whole family in In America (2002.)

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