Frankly, I could not imagine a two-hour feature film telling the story of 9/11. That was just not possible. Screenwriter, Andrea Berloff and director Oliver Stone told a compelling story. A difficult feat since the whole world knows what happened and how this ended. I expected the NYPD and NYFD folks to be skeptical of this project’s resemblance to reality.
New York is a magical place, with its great restaurants, fabulous non-stop entertainment and character. The Wall Street area where the WTC stood is like no other place on Earth. I’d been there before and since the destruction of the towers. The buildings were nothing short of majestic.
In one scene they used the unique fence around the historic St. Paul’s Chapel that still contains George Washington’s special pew. Alexander Hamilton is buried in the adjacent cemetery. During the rescue and recovery operation that was where the cops, firemen and other recovery workers ate and slept for many months. The walls inside were covered with cards and letters from, cops, firemen and children sent from all over the world. That fence was also where photos of lost loved ones and memorial material to the known dead were part of a heartbreaking display.
There are millions of stories that surround 9/11 and the thousands killed and maimed. Families were destroyed and the lives that were not snuffed out were changed forever. I’m sure that the stories of the other dead heroes were no less compelling for making a movie.
This film was about two New York Port Authority cops, John McLoughlin and William Jimeno along with their families. These folks lived the horror that most of us watched on continuous TV news coverage.
The film is a must see. The actors were wonderful with all of them carrying their weight. Maria Bello, Nicholas Cage, Michael Pena and Maggie Gyllenhaal gave Oscar caliber performances. They made this film all too real. Oliver Stone and his crew made the words on the paper script come alive. I expect that the nominations will be many here.
Yes, be sure to bring the Kleenex tissues when you go to see this one.
It was about a year ago on a Sunday afternoon that I went to Jerry’s Delicatessen in Marina Del Rey. There I met the beautiful Maria Belo, who plays John McLoughlin's wife, her boyfriend, Dan McDermott and their good friend actress, Camryn Manheim. I was minding my own business eating my pastrami sandwich when Maria and Dan’s little boy slung a spoon full of strained carrots that hit me in the head! Maria and Camryn all but gave me a shampoo and blow dry getting the mess out of my hair. We all had a good laugh. Sadly, I only recognized Camryn although Maria looked familiar. Soon I was able to chat with Maria and Camryn at a function of the Screen Actor’s Guild.
See the trailer here.