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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
    2016-November-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    ANG LEE pushes cinematic boundaries in this drama starring newcomer Joe Alwyn as an Iraq War hero caught up in a head-spinning whirl of prepackaged patriotism.

    How do you make a psychologically probing antiwar, pro-soldier movie in the United States when the traditional movie industry calls for unequivocal heroism, jingoistic certitude and visceral combat action? Lee has attempted to answer that conundrum with “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” seen through the bloodshot eyes of a 19-year-old army specialist whose courage during an Iraq battle lands him in a glaring spotlight of surreal demi-celebrity. This mostly faithful adaptation of Ben Fountain’s 2012 novel sacrifices the barbed humor that earned the book comparisons to “Catch-22,” succeeding more as a snapshot of a country too infantilized by its fascination with fame and success to get to grips with the realities of war.

    In “Billy Lynn,” he employs even more advanced developments in the service of a headspace movie, aiming to enhance the emotional experience by using a groundbreaking combination of 4-K resolution and 3-D at 120 frames per second, which is five times the standard speed. How does the movie look? Given that few theaters are equipped to screen it in the intended format, that question won’t matter much. But on the screen specially installed for New York Film Festival in which the film was shown for the first time, to these eyes at least, it has the somewhat distancing hyperreal sharpness of many outsize hi-definition flatscreen TVs. The edges are crystalline and the tight close-ups — of which Lee and cinematographer John Toll make extensive use throughout — are unusually penetrating.

    Jean-Christophe Castelli’s serviceable screenplay starts with the TV news footage that captures infantryman Billy Lynn (Alwyn) as he rushes to the aid of his injured sergeant, Shroom (Vin Diesel). In flashback fragments, we see Billy exchanging fire and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with enemy insurgents. But most of the action revolves around the Thanksgiving Day 2004 culmination of a two-week victory tour, during which Billy and his fellow surviving Bravo Squad soldiers are paraded around the United States in a series of meet-and-greet photo ops designed to reinvigorate public support for the war, before they redeploy to Iraq.

    Guests of the Dallas Cowboys on game day, the Bravo boys are given access to the executive buffet and bar, and then lined up for a press conference led with self-serving smarminess by team owner Norm Oglesby (Steve Martin). They also are roped in as props in the halftime show with Destiny’s Child, which proves more disorienting than thrilling — the fireworks, flashing lights and smoke explosions jangle their combat-frayed nerves and demonstrate their inability to leave the war behind. Even Dime, the hardcore sergeant played with grit and seemingly unflappable composure by Garrett Hedlund, is rattled. Unsurprisingly, it’s in this relatively contained sequence that Lee’s techno gambit pays off.

    Low-level Hollywood player Albert (Chris Tucker) accompanies them throughout the day, fielding calls while attempting to cook up a movie deal that has the guys seeing dollar signs. And quiet, introverted Billy strikes up an instant romance with Christian cheerleader Faison (Makenzie Leigh), who seems to see his temporary happiness as her spiritual duty. But the most compelling drama is his internal struggle between loyalty to his Bravo comrades and self-preservation. Billy’s sister Kathryn (Kristen Stewart) back in Stovall, Texas, has talked to a shrink at the VA hospital and is determined to convince him to opt out of active duty due to possible PTSD.

    In addition to tempering the satirical edge of the novel, the movie also condenses the terrific scenes in the book detailing Billy’s emotional return to his family home. Kathryn is the only other character to emerge fully formed, her experience of physical damage in an auto accident drawing her closer to Billy, not to mention being the indirect reason he enlisted. The too-few scenes between Stewart, simultaneously displaying hard and soft edges, and Alwyn, all internalized confusion, are among the film’s best.

    The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen.

    (SD-Agencies)

 

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