As most of you might already know “Unbroken” is about to be released in a cinema near you this month. In case you haven’t heard, the movie is Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie’s personal “work of art” because not only was it her first time helming a war film, it has also done quite well since its release! In fact, according to TIME, Universal Pictures expects the movie to gross approximately USD17 million to USD19 million at the box office by the end of the Christmas weekend.
But before you head off to the cinemas to catch it when it comes out, we’ve narrowed down just a few things you need to know about the film. Perhaps these facts will help you understand why it has been such a hit with moviegoers!
They are as follows:
1. The movie is based off a true story
Author Laura Hillenbrand was the first person to bring Louis Zamperini’s story to life in the 2010 biography “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”. Louis was a former Olympic distance runner who enlisted in the Air Force in 1941. He survived a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean, and spent over a month waiting to be rescued at sea. However, he would spend more than two and a half years as a prisoner of war (POW) in a Japanese camp after being captured.
2. It is another directorial feat by Angelina Jolie
This is Angelina’s third time directing a movie for the big screen. Her first directing job was a documentary titled, “A Place in Time”. She directed “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in 2007. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe. Angelina Jolie has garnered the biggest buzz for her latest directing vision, on top of being nominated “Best Director” for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Award on 15th Jan 2015.
3. Japanese rockstar Miyavi’s movie debut
This is the first American film for Miyavi (aka Takamasa Ishihara). He is one of Japan’s premier rock stars. However, he did a complete 180 with his stirring performance as the formidable and cruel prison guard Watanabe in the film. Miyavi is also know as the “Samurai Guitarist” because of his mad skillz, and he was in Kuala Lumpur in 2012 for a small, intimate gig. Read our exclusive interview with the rockstar here!
4. Jack O’Connell is a tour de force
Everyone keeps talking about Jack. The fairly unknown British actor is receiving accolades for his portrayal of Louis Zamperini. Entertainment Weekly dubbed him a “real star on the rise” and called his performance “totally hypnotic”. Oh, and believe it or not, he made his professional acting debut in 2005 appearing in an episode a British soap opera called “Doctors”.
5. Louis Zamperini stunned at the Olympics
He placed eighth in the 5,000 meters at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with an impressive 56-second final lap. It’s an artistic choice that the film omits Louis Zamperini shaking an impressed Hitler’s hand, instead dwelling on just how amazing that final lap was. Also, after his release from prison, he went on to carry the Olympic torch in Nagano, Japan (not far from the POW camp where he had been held) in 1998 and to get married.
6. The real Louis Zamperini died months before the film’s release
His death had mistakenly been announced previously, when the US government classified him as KIA during World War II, after his B-24 Liberator aircraft went downi n 1943, and no survivors were located by the military. President Franklin D. Roosevelt even sent Zamperini’s parents a formal condolence note in 1944. However, his “real” death came 70 years later, from pneumonia, on 2nd July 2014, in Los Angeles, at home. He was 97 years old.
Sounds like a movie you wouldn’t want to miss now, doesn’t it? Exactly!
Watch the trailer here:
“Unbroken” will be released in a cinema near you on 5th February 2015.
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.