A Mighty Heart — a labyrinthine procedural and doomed investigative piece of glancing emotional blows, centering around the wife of kidnapped and ultimately beheaded Wall Street Journal
reporter Daniel Pearl — comes to see the light of day just after the
official dawn of summer.
A very autumnal, let’s say, film releasing in
the midst of a lot of splashy, effects-laden fare, A Mighty Heart is a project built for the long-run, certainly. Still, even though it
stars tabloid favorite Angelina Jolie, its commercial prospects hinge
on how willing American audiences are to relive a story as complex as
it is unsavory in nature, particularly as news of more violence from
Iraq and abroad filters in over the next several months. As directed by Michael Winterbottom, the movie has the same sort of clutchy immediacy that Paul Greengrass brought to United 93 and The Bourne Supremacy; it’s a slowly building collage of dread and tension, this time infused with the slipperier elements of an inherently ungraspable foreign landscape. Though not conventionally cathartic, A Mighty Heart is powered throughout by the superlative lead performance of Angelina Jolie, and her portrayal is one of mesmerizingly tightened effect and distress — her very soul seems clenched. For the full review, from FilmStew, click here.