A Private War


Friday 28th February

USA | 2018 | 110 mins | Cert 15

Biography, Drama, War

Celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin is a woman who is as comfortable downing martinis with high society's elite as she is brazenly staring down warlords and fleeing from gunfire. Driven by an enduring desire to bear witness and give voice to the voiceless, Colvin charges into danger, constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado.

Taking its inspiration from a posthumous 2012 Vanity Fair profile by Marie Brenner, this narrative feature debut from celebrated documentary-maker Matthew Heineman casts Rosamund Pike as the renowned American journalist Marie Colvin, who risked her life to report from the front line, and seven years ago paid the ultimate price. “Why is the world not here?” was Colvin’s repeated question as she ventured into the most deadly – and often overlooked – areas of conflict. The answer seems simple: where Colvin felt an unstoppable need to witness and report on “the truth”, others often feared to follow. A fine performance by Rosamund Pike as Marie Colvin she puts herself into the central role with tangible conviction, perfectly capturing what Brenner called Colvin’s “American whiskey tone”, and relishing the contradictions of a character who carried a copy of Martha Gellhorn’s collected war writings The Face of War while expressing a “defiant preference” for La Perla underwear. As stalwart comrade Conroy (“the Scouser”), Dornan cuts a sympathetic figure, mediating between Colvin’s impenetrable exterior and the audience’s need for a clear point of identification. Tom Hollander walks a fine line between concern and exasperation as editor Sean Ryan, while Stanley Tucci injects an unexpectedly playful note of romance that unlocks another side of Colvin’s character. The Guardian 17th Feb 2019

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