Louis Zamperini lived just about one of the craziest lives imaginable. A first-generation American, he went from being a young punk who grew up during the Depression and was the scourge of local law enforcement, to being an Olympian who ran in the Berlin Olympics and got a personal meet-and-greet with Hitler, to being a bombardier who fought against Axis forces in the second World War, to surviving on a life raft in the Pacific Ocean for 47 days while eating raw fish and drinking rain water, to being held in a Japanese POW camp, to eventually being a married man and motivational speaker.
It’s the sort of story that Hollywood loves to turn into movies. But, due to all of the inherent drama in the subject matter and the delicacy with which it needs to be handled, it’s also the sort of movie that Hollywood tends to turn into sappy melodramas. So, seeing as Zamperini’s upcoming biopic, Unbroken, is being put together by Angelina Jolie, who’s only had one previous go-around at being a director (In the Land of Blood and Honey), sappiness is certainly a concern. There are a couple of indications that Jolie and company are going to get the execution right on this one though, and now that the film aired a teaser during the Olympics, we’ve all got a much better idea of what to expect. Click through to check it out.
So, yeah, while it looks like Unbroken is going to be pretty Forrest Gumpian in its content and tone, it’s clear that it’s also going to be gorgeous to look at. And you can thank Jolie for that, because she was wise enough to hire the man himself, Roger Deakins, to be the film’s cinematographer. And though we didn’t get much of a sense of the dialogue or the flow of the story from just these little snippets, you also have to take comfort in the fact that she hired Joel and Ethan Coen to come in and do a rewrite of the script. Despite the bullying music in this preview elevating everything to pretty high heights, you’ve got to think that the brothers Coen would have gotten rid of any moments in the story that don’t feel earned.
If a large part of being a director is just hiring the right people to get the various tasks necessary for making a film done right, then it already looks like Jolie is going to be one actress who will have no problem at all making the jump from being in front of the camera to being behind it. And if she’s able to reign in all of the drama that Zamperini lived through a bit in order to not make a movie that comes off as being Oscar bait, then we’ll know for sure that she’s a double-threat performer worth getting excited about. Better watch your back, Affleck.