A Private War
Panorama | Special Presentations
While the majority of Fifth Estate members feel embattled at the moment, few have ever had an actual grenade go off in their face and then simply walked it off. Such is the unflagging determination of Marie Colvin, the celebrated war correspondent played here with a winning combination of prickliness and principles by Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike.
While her Queens accent leaves Marie standing out like a sore working-class thumb in the London offices of The Sunday Times, she truly distinguishes herself with her penchant for fearlessly rushing to the frontlines of war zones. After an encounter with an explosive in Sri Lanka leaves her wearing an eyepatch, she seems to use the new accessory as an excuse to amplify her maverick tendencies. Continuing to seek out conflicts, she finds her true calling in giving a voice to the innocents caught in the crossfire.
Pike is a force of nature here, proving equally convincing going toe-to-toe with tyrants in strife-plagued nations—where her celebrated photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) rides shotgun—or tipping back a martini amidst London’s elite. Oscar-nominated director Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) brings a gritty in-the-trenches documentary style to his narrative debut, harnessing the considerable powers of legendary cinematographer Robert Richardson (Inglourious Basterds) to illustrate the chaos Colvin routinely imbedded herself in. It’s then left to Pike to skillfully convey how someone could face such devastation and yet retain their faith in humanity.