Jack O’Connell Leads U.S. Trailer For Acclaimed War Drama ”71′

Written by on December 16, 2014 

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Recently making our Best Breakthrough Performances of 2014 list, the rising star of Jack O’Connell has, well, risen. After getting some blockbuster experience with 300: Rise of an Empire, he showed off his skills with one of the year’s best performances in Starred Up, and we’ll soon see him take the lead in Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken. He’ll return early next year with Yann Demange‘s ’71, a film which earned much acclaim at Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and follows O’Connell as a British soldier who fights in Belfast in 1971.

We said in our review, “Although violence, both actual and threatened, permeates almost the entirety of the movie, there are a small handful of moments that are elevated substantially by the shocking and abrupt ways in which they unfold. Demange and director of photography Tat Radcliffe (who also shot 2014’s Pride) do not shy away from showing the brutality of these moments, forcing us to confront not only broad notions about the devastation of war, but also the way these moments intimately impact Hook. The emotional resonance of these moments will make ’71 tough to shake.” Also starring Sean Harris, Richard Dormer and Paul Anderson, the gripping first U.S. trailer has landed and can be seen below.

1971, and the conflict in Northern Ireland is escalating towards civil war. Young English recruit Gary is called into action in Belfast. The situation in the city is confusing and challenging – even for experienced military commanders. The town is divided into ‘loyal’ Protestant and ‘hostile’ Catholic areas. Both parties have paramilitary units; in addition, radical street gangs and undercover agents from all sides are trying to assert their interests on their own initiative. During a patrol, the soldiers become embroiled in a scuffle and one of them loses their weapon. Gary and a fellow soldier follow the thief who disappears into the crowd. Suddenly Gary is having to fend for himself alone in the midst of enemy territory. His journey back to his base that night is an odyssey filled with uncertainty, fear and desperation. Director Yann Demange exposes the futility of war in which every act of violence only breeds more violence. An existentialist nocturne about hidden identities, creeping paranoia and those forced to take a stand. As the film progresses, it gradually breaks free from specifics to become a more universal anti-war parable.

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’71 opens on February 27th.


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