With the Winter Olympics in full swing, Universal saw a prime moment to give us all a first look at footage from Angelina Jolie’s latest, Unbroken. Here is the long spot aired on TV for the movie, which helpfully tells the story of real-life Olympian Louis Zamperini and his experiences during World War II.
Blending material from the movie itself with archive photographs and video from his life, it’s all anchored by Zamperini himself, now a 97-year-old, but still vital and clearly enthused to talk about his life.
Harry Brown’s Jack O’Connell is the star of the film as the younger Zamperini, a ne’er do well-turned-LA high school athlete who raced in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. During World War II, his Air Force plane crashed in the Pacific, leaving him without food and water for 28 days, enduring shark attacks, strafings and hunger. He finally washed ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.
From the looks of this, Unbroken won’t scrub clean Zamperini’s earlier life, which, as the man himself admits, saw him as a “rotten” teenager. It’ll also have to encompass his fight for survival and captivity. With Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Finn Wittrock and Jai Courtney in the cast and a script that's been worked on by Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson and the Coen brothers at different points, this has all the makings of something both adventurous and potentially award-worthy. We’ll see for sure when Unbroken arrives on December 25 in the US and January 16, 2015 over here.