Saving Private Ryan (1998)

So it’s all about the opening on Omaha Beach but even that is overshadowed by Tom Hank’s face.

The rest is just one over-done, over-long, over-written conversation about the film’s central quandary followed by another visceral battle.  It’s saving grace is the presence of Hanks who anchors the film in normalcy and the simplistic need to get home.  Hanks, more than any other actor, is the perfect every-man and his face can be read like a book.  All the fear, exhaustion, bravery, empathy, horror and plain old get-on-with-it is there for all to see and in the dark of the cinema it’s almost too much.

This was playing on a big screen about five minutes walk from my home last night.  I should have gone, just to see those eyes look at that beach.  Could have left after 15 minutes happy that I’d got my money’s worth.  On the other hand, once Ted Danson had come and gone, I’d have probably stayed and got all annoyed by the squad actors doing their ‘this is my moment’ acting.


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