In the Valley of ElahMikey 2 comments
If there is one actor I have enormous respect for, it's Tommy Lee Jones. Watching Jones do 30 seconds of nothing is more interesting than watching some other actors do 30 minutes of 'acting'. In the Valley of Elah sees Jones star as Hank Deerfield, a retired Army officer investigating the mysterious disappearance of his son, who vanished a few days after returning from fighting in Iraq.
Not satisfied with the Army's explanation, Deerfield leaves his wife behind at home while he heads off to the town where his son was stationed to investigate. Deerfield spends a lot of time talking to unforthcoming Army and Police officers, but with the 'help' of one vulnerable Police Detective, he manages to connect the dots which eventually form an awful truth.
The story and script are great, but Jones' stony yet caring performance is truly mesmerising. There are no special effects, explosions, no fancy camera work or diatribe monologues, leaving the actors to earn their pay cheques which they do exceedingly well.
In the Valley of Elah is a stunning film, one that shows an often untold side of war, and one that doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is.