Lions For Lambs (Fox, 2007) D: Robert Redford, w/ Redford, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN
Not too many films are structured around a debate, and most of those, like Inherit The Wind, build to big emotional climaxes. Lions For Lambs takes a different route to produce some very enjoyable actors’ duels and a little food for thought.
In Washington, a rising Republican senator (Tom Cruise) and a top TV reporter (Meryl Streep) debate his aggressive new strategy for Afghanistan. At the same time, in California, a political science professor (Robert Redford) strives to re-engage a once-promising student (Andrew Garfield) who’s now a committed slacker. Meanwhile, on a snowbound plateau in Afghanistan, a pair of injured U.S. soldiers (Michael Peña and Derek Luke) are pinned down under Taliban fire, the first victims of the senator’s new strategy. They’re also the structural device that makes the movie work.
The debates are well written, and the cast have fun one-upping each other.
The making-of concentrates on the actors and script, but Redford has little to say about his methods.
In his commentary, he mostly explains the twists and turns the arguments are taking. We can see those for ourselves.
EXTRAS Redford commentary, making-of and scripting-of docs, more. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio. English, Spanish subtitles.