BOLO-"The Lucky Ones"

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Ralph
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BOLO-"The Lucky Ones"

Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:25 pm

I just returned from a members' screening of Neil Burger's "The Lucky Ones" at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. The movie opens on a fair number of screens on 26 September. And it's not to be missed.

This is a non-political movie (to the extent that any story set in our time is wholly non-political) about three G.I.s, back from Iraq, with different immediate goals.

Tim Robbins, one of our greatest actors is SGT Cheever, a reservist who has been away from home too long. An accident at the end of his tour of duty shortened his time in Iraq. Rachel McAdams, who enjoys top billing here, is a private named Collee who is recuperating from a bullet wound to her leg. Her mission is to return her lover's guitar to his family - he was killed in action protecting her. Michael Pena is T.K., wounded where it really hurts (more than physically) and deeply apprehensive about his forthcoming reunion with his lieutenant fiancee. All three are stranded by a blackout at a New York airport and they share a car to get them to their respective destinations.

So this is a "road" flick, a genre that constantly reinvents itself and the story here, abetted by first-rate acting, makes it work. Alternately funny and heart wrenching, the three travel across a pastiche of American society, viewing the people they meet with curiosity.

Director Neil Burger, who did the wonderful movie, "The Illusionist," has scored big time here with a trio of leading actors who play beautifully off each other. And as good as Robbins is, McAdams is the hands-down scene stealer here as she portrays a young soldier with little education, high principles and a warm heart.

An extensive Q&A session with Burger followed, New York Times critic Janet Maslin serving as the host. Burger admitted that he has no idea if people will dismiss this movie as another Iraq flick without seeing it. It isn't really about Iraq. It's about three very likable people dealing with cards dealt to them by unseen hands.

Burger asked audience members to e-mail fifty friends each if you liked the film. I don't have that many friends but I'm very happy to urge all to see this movie!

The Army extended considerable support to the director and I hope few notice, as I did, that "airborne" is misspelled in the closing credits (harrumph).
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