November 21, 2009

Taking Chance

For those looking for a movie to rent, I would recommned Taking Chance, an HBO movie that premiered earlier this year.  The movie is based on an essay by Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who was moved to record his thoughts after escorting the body of fellow Marine Chance Phelps from Dover Air Force Base to burial in Dubois, Wyoming.  Phelps, who enlisted after 9/11, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.  The movie is agnostic with respect to the wisdom of our involvement in Iraq, and focuses instead on Strobl’s experiences accompanying Phelps back to his hometown.  Strobl encounters only one unsympathetic person, an officious TSA screener at the Philadelphia airport.  His other encounters recall the patriotism that briefly took hold after 9/11.  Kevin Bacon does an excellent job portraying Strobl, and the movie is spare, intelligent, and moving.  Most of the films inspired by Iraq have been eminently forgettable; this one is not.

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