Posted Feb 15 2019

A Private War - This Movie War Rocks

Dir: Matthew Heineman

Starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander, Faye Marsay

All praise to David Fincher for working out how good an actor Rosamund Pike could be. After a pre-Gone Girl earlier career being a Bond Girl, a Lady Penelope and a voyeuristic victim of various Hallam Foes, Pike fully comes into her own with a brilliant performance in A Private War. As the famously eye-patch wearing Sunday Times foreign correspondent Marie Colvin, Pike is, simply. remarkable. Impassioned, vulnerable, intensely complex and beautifully open, this is a career defining performance. Thankfully, presented within a very strong film.

Matthew Heineman – previously a documentary maker (Cartel Land) here delivers an impressive dramatic feature debut with this look at the pioneering journalist who went to every war zone available to her, despite all that it incurred on herself. He delivers a film that verges between being visceral and deeply personal, and finds a way to merge the two to powerful dramatic effect – mostly through the performance of his lead, Pike.

Yes, the likes of Dornan and Tucci are needed and work well, but it is Pike’s take on piratical Colvin that runs the roost of this movie. She is at once strong, weak, close, open and all over the PTSD register in between. It is impressive work and at all points totally accessible to those watching her.

It’s a very good movie. But it’s a great performance. (A bit like Gone Girl in that respect. Guess Fincher was on to something.)


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