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IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH – Mark Isham

September 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Paul Haggis has grown increasingly bold as a filmmaker, but somehow less controversial with critics. The Haggis screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby” was terrific, and he collaborated with director Clint Eastwood to make the best film of 2004. In 2005, Haggis made another big impression with “Crash”, which certainly did some emotional button-pushing but was nonetheless a superb film. After the heavy-handed symbolism of the Haggis screenplay for “The Last Kiss” comes the even more heavy-handed “In the Valley of Elah”, which Haggis wrote and directed. The film benefits hugely from a superb Tommy Lee Jones performance before slipping into almost mind-bogglingly shameless emotional manipulation in the final act. Haggis was never a subtle artist, but I feel that he’s simply gone too far lately, and needs to restrain himself a little bit. Read more…