WE WERE PREPARED FOR EVERYTHING. JUST NOT THIS. As I mentioned in the comments to an earlier post, I found Oliver Stone's World Trade Center incredibly effective and affecting. I should preface my remarks by saying that I'm far from a Stone fan--Any Given Sunday is the only Stone film I've managed to get all the way through (I tried JFK, which gave me a headache)--I find it hard to watch the hyperkinetic editing style he tends to use.
WTC is the exact opposite of that. Lots of long, silent shots with just Craig Armstrong's simple score over them. While the movie is long (about 2.5 hours), there's probably not a substantive line of dialogue until the 10-15 minute mark, and long periods of silence and static shots throughout. More shockingly, there's nothing "political" about the film--it simply tells interlocking stories of Officers Will Jimeno and John McLaughlin (the 18th and 19th of the 20 people to be pulled alive from the rubble of the WTC), their wives, and the people who played a role in their rescue. Rather than focusing on the indisputable horror of 9/11, it instead focuses on the hope and goodness that it brought out in folks in the days and hours thereafter, a story that's gotten too lost among folks trying to exploit 9/11 for political gain and to point out that exploitation and the "Truthies." Stone's made a fine film that is shockingly non-cynical, but instead, hopeful about what America and Americans are and can be, a reminder that's sorely needed right now. It's not for everyone--these wounds are still raw--but if you're thinking about seeing it, it's worth your time.