30 January 2016 | ThomasDrufke
All Life is Precious
Now, that's what I call a good film. It may still be January, but The Finest Hours definitely doesn't feel like a film that came out in the midst of Hollywood's dumping ground month. It's directed by Craig Gillespie and stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, and Eric Bana. It tells the story of one of the most daring and dangerous U.S. Coast Guard missions in history as Bernie Webber, played by Pine, led a crew aboard a motor boat to save the survivors of the splitting of the SS Pendleton.
First off, it's unbelievable that this is even a true story. I constantly thought to myself throughout the film that there's no way they actually get through this alive. It's even more amazing when you see the real life pictures and records of the events in the closing credits. It's also one of those films that makes you enjoy your time away from the storms on water and appreciate every second on land. But besides the remarkable story, I got sucked in with the acting of Pine, Affleck, and Grainger. Grainger plays Pine's love interest back home in Massachusetts and at times the screen time on her can become distracting. Grainger was good in the role, but the time spent on the motor boat and Affleck's crew on the ship was much more intriguing.
Another understandable complaint this film has been getting is its noticeable CGI. When you compare it to films like Life of Pi, Interstellar, or even Titanic from 20 years ago, it doesn't even come close to holding its own against those. But with its lower budget and poignant story, I think you can forgive some of its more obviously green screen moments. The film does have plenty of 'true story clichés' used to bring our emotions to the breaking point, but I never felt like they over did it. I was so enthralled with what was happening that when the film does get to its emotional climax, I had to hold back tears. That's a tribute to Gillespie's direction and the incredible score by the newly Oscar nominated, Carter Burwell.
+Great lead performances
-Some CGI overstayed its welcome
-Some cuts back to Grainger's character weren't necessary