I’m a little late in watching this, even by local release patterns, lol, so I was worried I’d find myself saying the exact same as everyone else, but thank god for Gillian Anderson … I mean, where on earth is the love for her? I was this close to not even knowing she was in this movie before I saw a short clip on last week’s BAFTA awards, lol. She may only be onscreen for 15 minutes tops, but once again she proves she is one of greatest actresses alive and yet she’s so darn forgettable, lol – let the spotlight shine on you again, Gillian! You deserve it!
Anyway, as to the rest of the movie … I really wasn’t a big fan of director Kevin McDonald’s last movie, Touching the Void, though his first One Day in September really impressed me. This, we’re told, is his first foray outside of documentary cinema (cough Touching the Void cough cough) and I sort of feared the seemingly too-fictionalised aspects of this one if, as I’d heard, and can confirm, Forest Whitaker’s performance was to be so on the nose. But somehow, if we’re to believe the degree to which the movie portrays this man’s insanity, the slightly surreal, bending-of-the-truth, approach, works. I found it somewhere between Apocalypse Now and The Beach with a Wicker Man-ish ending (well, almost – put it this way, when they, err, “punish” James McAvoy towards the end, it’s a more terrifyingly Wicker Man moment than anything in the Nicolas Cage remake, lol) that I think would sit best alongside last year’s Munich.
Whitaker does deserve all the accolades. But here also is yet another actor whose snubbing in the Best Supporting Actor category completely baffles me – McAvoy is brilliant here, playing the fresh-faced traveller who takes on a role almost as a lark and then gets too sucked into the horror before he even realises what that horror is. He should so be up there on Sunday with Michael Sheen of The Queen, I really don’t know what happened with this category this year.