Un­bro­ken spirit of hu­man en­durance

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - with Ju­lian Wright FILM

HOL­LY­WOOD power cou­ple Brad Pitt and An­gelina Jolie each re­leas­ing a wartime film within months of each other was pure co­in­ci­dence, ac­cord­ing to Un­bro­ken pro­ducer Matthew Baer.

While Pitt’s World War II set Fury has been re­leased and en­joyed mod­er­ate box of­fice and crit­i­cal suc­cess, all eyes are now on Jolie, whose highly touted di­rect­ing de­but in the World War II tale

Un­bro­ken (partly filmed in Aus­tralia) is to hit Aus­tralian cin­e­mas this week.

Baer said the tim­ing was not co-or­di­nated.

“That was a to­tal co­in­ci­dence; I have been try­ing to get Un­bro­ken made for 17 years,” he said.

“But I don’t view Un­bro­ken as a war film; it is about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween brothers, a trou­bled kid who had a brother who be­lieved in him. “It shares more of a par­al­lel with 12 Years a Slave or Rocky.”

Un­bro­ken fol­lows the har­row­ing story of Olympian Louis Zam­perini (Jack O'Con­nell) who sur­vived 47 days stranded in a raft at sea after a plane crash, only to be found by the Ja­panese

Navy and held as a pris­oner in harsh con­di­tions.

Baer said Jolie had felt a con­nec­tion with the script and source ma­te­rial, Laura Hil­len­brand book Un­bro­ken: A World War II Story of Sur­vival, Re­silience, and Re­demp­tion.

“And when a di­rec­tor comes on board, they have their own set of stan­dards and what they want, so she brought on the Coen brothers to help with the script.”

Baer chuck­led when a pre­vi­ous film he pro­duced, 2003 com­edy View from

the Top star­ring Gwyneth Pal­trow and Mike My­ers, was men­tioned.

“View from the Top is the fur­thest thing from Un­bro­ken,” he said.

“There is no com­par­i­son there; the only di­rec­tion I headed in was try­ing to make a good film.”

Un­bro­ken is in cin­e­mas Jan­uary 15.

An­gelina Jolie di­rect­ing on the set of Un­bro­ken.

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