Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taking Chance

Gayle caught this on HBO last night. She cried through the entire movie.

'Taking Chance' follows a fallen Marine's journey home

By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
There is a power and beauty to restraint that seldom finds its way onto TV.

A small, almost perfectly realized gem of a movie, Taking Chance is also precisely the kind of movie that TV should be making. Its story — a real-life example of the military's little-publicized policy of providing a uniformed escort for every fallen soldier — is too small for a wide-release feature film, even with star Kevin Bacon attached. And yet it's a story that should be seen in every American home, and one that, if you don't know it, will leave you wondering why you don't know it.

The man taking Chance home is Michael Strobl (Bacon), the Marine lieutenant colonel who co-wrote the film and wrote the journal on which it's based. A Desert Storm veteran turned stateside analyst, Strobl spends each night scrolling through the Iraq War casualty lists. He spots the name of Chance Phelps, 19, and even though he's considered too senior an officer to escort Chance's remains, he volunteers.

And so, as the body makes its way from Iraq to the Dover, Del., mortuary to Chance's tiny Wyoming hometown, we follow two journeys. One is that of a young man who died before his time; the other is of a middle-aged man seeking to honor the sacrifice of those he supervises while reconciling himself to his own service.

The rest of the story can be found here.


lolaberly said...

This has been on my calendar for a couple weeks now. I don't have HBO and am trying to find a friend that has it so I can watch it when it re-airs.

Airborne dad said...

I'm not sure I am ready to watch it. Maybe when we have put a little distance between Iraq and the future.

FYI, I did find the original photo that you requested. Mike should be in town next week, so he can sign it. Your photo of the Black River sent me to the closet for a sweat shirt. That's cold.

Gayle said...

Hey lolaberly, I hope you can watch the movie. It's so very respectful. The film, scenery, and acting are top notch also. I began to shed tears in the first few minutes and I never stopped crying for 30 minutes after. I didn't help that I managed to catch the end of Forrest Gump - when Jenny the pump was already primed. "Taking Chance" was worth it though!

MightyMom said...

I posted both the trailer for this movie and an interview between Bacon and Lt Col Strobl.

We don't have TV but I sure would love for someone to record it for me!! It SHOULD make the big screen!!!

Maybe NEtflix will have it soon.

Jan Wesner said...

The best thing about "Taking Chance" is that it's goal is not to promote a political agenda. There is no hidden message. It's just the honest truth about one fallen Marine's journey home and those he touched along the way. I, too, cried the whole time. And, truth be told, so did my Green Beret husband.

Airborne dad said...

Thanks for stopping by Jan. I hope things are well for you.

You are right about the apolitical nature of the movie (although I haven't seen it). Gayle says it is a virtually the same as the Col.'s journal of the trip.

This is leading up to a post on the upcoming decision on whether to let the media in to view the remains coming to the States at Dover. I haven't had a chance to get my thoughts together yet.

Anonymous said...

Goodness knows we need more films for our new generation about the war effort and it's consequences. I hope this film reaches people it normally wouldn't. Thanks for the post!