Movie Reviews: A Mighty Heart
A Mighty Heart, starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, wife of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl -- who was beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002 -- is receiving near-reverent reviews by most critics. In particular, Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern praises director Michael Winterbottom for "an agile style ... that integrates drama and documentary footage, mixes professional with non-professional actors and yields a sense of place that's as vivid as anything seen on TV news." Jan Stuart in Newsday writes that director Winterbottom has fashioned "a compassionate thriller that reminds us of the human issues underscoring the terrorist quagmire Pearl was attempting to sort out." But it is Jolie's performance that receives particular acclaim: "Jolie's measured approach to portraying Mariane is worthy of Best Actress consideration come awards time. Even in the film's most dramatic moment, when news of Danny's murder hit home, Jolie's explosion of grief never registers as false or forced," Peter Howell writes in the Toronto Star. But, most importantly, Manohla Dargis suggests in the New York Times, "In its modest, at times awkward, way, this little movie with the big movie star tries to bring us into a conversation that, at least in this country, is often relegated to the bummer front pages of your daily paper or glimpsed on television in between diet tips and, yes, news about Brangelina." And Roger Ebert concludes in the Chicago Sun-Times: "What is best about A Mighty Heart is that it doesn't reduce the Daniel Pearl story to a plot, but elevates it to a tragedy. A tragedy that illuminates and grieves for the hatred that runs loose in our world, hatred as a mad dog that attacks everyone. Attacks them for what seems, to the dog, the best of reasons."