Hacksaw Ridge

On February 1st I enjoyed a half a day off of work and saw “Hacksaw Ridge”.

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It had been a very, very long time since I had seen movie starring or directed by Mel Gibson. And to be quite honest if “Hacksaw Ridge” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture I probably wouldn’t have seen it despite the good reviews from both critics and my own mother. At the end of the day I am glad that it was nominated for Best Picture because I would have missed out on a very good film if I hadn’t seen it.

At a certain point it seems like there can’t be any new stories about World War II to tell but somehow “Hacksaw Ridge” manages to find a way. In taking a pacifist and putting him into the middle of the bloodiest war the world has ever seen the film manages to create an interesting conflict. Mel Gibson’s direction reminds us all of why he walked away with the Best Director Oscar 21 years ago for “Braveheart”.

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I thought that Andrew Garfield was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor six years ago for “The Social Network” so I’m glad to see him finally get is Academy Award nomination here. He plays a role that is quite different than anything I have ever seen from him before.

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Initially his aw shucks portrayal of Desmond T. Doss seems a little thin but as the film goes on you see Garfield create a fully realized character. In many ways his performance reminds me of the very best things about Tom Hanks in 1994’s “Forrest Gump”. Vince Vaughn has wasted so much of his time on throw away projects so it’s nice to see him remind everybody that he is capable of more than just stupid comedies.

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Also of note is Sam Worthington. I had mixed feelings seeing Rachel Griffiths playing Andrew Garfield’s mother. I’m always happy to see her work but considering she is only 15 years older than Garfield it does bug me that she is relegated to the mom role.

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“Hacksaw Ridge” was a wonderful surprise. I never expected to be so invested and moved by this film. I’m happy that I saw it in the theater and highly recommend it.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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