Captain Phillips

Mostly the Code of Conduct was followed in the screening room last night. Except I got whacked in the head by the lady’s bag who was coming in to sit behind me and the two guys over the aisle talked half-way through. I was the only person in the cinema for a long time, and I got a bit worried they wouldn’t run the film for just me, but in the end, it was about half full. There were five previews:

Saving Mr Banks (really want to see), 47 Ronin (really, no thank you), Captain America – Winter Soldier (no thank you), The Monument Men (want to see) American Hustle (want to see)

Captain Phillips is a long film, but thinking about it, I cannot imagine what they could trim to cut the running time down. You need to see him on the ship before the pirates attack, so you can see what he’s like as a Captain towards the crew. You need the build-up of tension as the skiffs approach the ship, and then the story unfolding. You can’t not show the time in the lifeboat, because that is integral to the entire story, and you also need the navy trying to negotiate with the pirates before the SEALS arrive.

I know the story was covered extensively in the USA, but in Australia it didn’t get as much coverage, so I didn’t know the outcome, although I knew he’d been rescued. This does not detract from the film one iota, as it is as much about the journey the pirates take as Captain Phillips does. At The Movies criticised putting in the back story for the pirates in, but I think this gives context as to why they’re hanging on for as long as they are.

It’s edge of the seat from the get-go, which is pretty good going to grab you and hold you for that long. Tom Hanks is extraordinary. The final seen is as raw emotion as you will ever see on film and I have no idea where he got it from. He has said that it was improvised, the Navy technician was told to just do what she would normally do, but she got a bit star-struck and froze on the first take. The first take! If you get to see it, knowing that he’d done it already, makes it all the more incredible.

I really enjoyed it, and will be buying the DVD when it is released, but Tom Hanks is going to get an Academy Award again, it is one of the best performances I have ever seen, full stop.

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