WEIRDLAND: Mr. Ebert "Rendtion" review

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Mr. Ebert "Rendtion" review

There is no ranking perfection, so I will discuss the perfect films in alphabetical order. The first is “No Country for Old Men,” by the Coen brothers, and the second is “Rendition” by Gavin Hood. The Coens are among our national treasures. Gavin Hood, at 44, was the South African director of “Tsotsi,” the masterpiece which won the Oscar for best foreign film of 2005.
Deserves nominations

Now to ”Rendition.” I owe director Gavin Hood an apology for writing, in a Toronto festival preview, that it is a “CIA thriller.” It involves the CIA and among other things it is a thriller, but it is no more a “CIA thriller” than Macbeth is a swashbuckler. It is a movie about the theory and practice of two things: Torture, and personal responsibility. And it is wise about what is right, and what is wrong. The original and tightly coiled screenplay, by Kelley Sane, should get one of several nominations the movie deserves.

The story involves the arrest of an Egyptian-American scientist (Omar Metwally) who is “disappeared” from a flight from Cape Town to Washington. His very pregnant wife (Reese Witherspoon) simply doesn’t believe “he was never on the plane,” and enlists a former lover (Peter Sarsgaard), now an aide to a senator (Alan Arkin), to investigate through back channels. This runs him up against the head of the CIA (Meryl Streep) who is terrifyingly professional.

Meanwhile, in an unnamed north African country, the new American attaché (Jake Gyllenhaal) is told that the scientist has been brought there to take advantage of its expert torturers, an interesting use of outsourcing. And we meet the country’s chief of security, his daughter, her forbidden boyfriend, and others, as several story strands are relentlessly gathered into a conclusion that makes perfect sense and causes us to rethink everything, and no, that doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means". Source: Rogerebert.suntimes.com

2 comments :

gr77 said...

It's very nice to read a positive review from Ebert about "Rendition", although I don't see why one reviewer's opinion should matter more than others.Everyone is acting like HP and Variety's reviews are destroying the film but I don't see why they are more important than all the good canadian reviews from example.
Critics are just like everyone else,they have personal tastes and (political and other)beliefs and their reviews are influenced by that.
Also the reviewer's country of origin seems to makes a difference (Atonement for example got great reviews from the British in Venice but Italians didn't like it)

Kendra said...

I agree totally with you, in fact there are many reviews from Ebert that frankly are so boring! In Spain the critics are usually more prone to give thumbs up to European cinema above manufactured HW productions, if Americans "Heraldo de Aragón" Cartelera reviews probably would be surprised about the harsh comments from the Aragonese critics. They are also heavily biased.