When World War Two Lost The Oscar: THE THIN RED LINE

ThinRedLineIn 1998, three of the five films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award were films that dealt with World War Two from three very unique perspectives. Though none of the three would win the Best Picture Oscar, they would all provide differing looks at different aspects of the conflict.

In the previous two installments of our series,  Michael McGonigle has taken a look at why Life Is Beautiful and questioned the taste of filmmakers who feel compelled to try to find an uplifting message in the absolute horror of the holocaust while his examination of Saving Private Ryan, questioned director Steven Spielberg’s ability to suppress his impulses to make a crowd pleasing action film.

And now Michael turns his critical gaze to the third World War Two-themed film that was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1998- director Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line. Michael notes that Mallick himself warns us to suspend our expectations of what a war film is and should be early on through an offhand line of dialogue, “They got fish that live in the trees.” But does Mallick succeed in subverting our expectations for the genre? Read on to find out…

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About Rich Drees 7059 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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