Troisième film in competition for the Prize of the Bloggers and the Public of this third edition of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival, FORT BLISS, Claudia Myers is a film that is vibrant, exciting and particularly stressful. Because it tells of the difficulties of a young nurse in the army, she returned home after 15 months in Iraq. Because the director is a total unknown whose vision is strongly influenced by the French culture. Because the main character, staff sergeant Maggie Swann, is played by Michelle Monaghan (TRUE DETECTIVE), an actress that is often difficult to take seriously. Because the backstory, the war in Afghanistan, begins to look outdated, has-been. Because the cast overall isn’t particularly exciting. Nevertheless, despite all these small “inconveniences”, FORT BLISS is a small wonder. Explanations.
War films, this is not that is lacking in the american production. The war movies with women in the interesting role, one begins to see here and there, from time to time, most often when the main plot allows. But war movies with a female main character, it does not count to the masses. First good point for FORT BLISS. The second comes with the very good development of the psychology of Maggie. Character completely torn between her patriotism and her motherly instinct, she takes us with her in countless questioning, questioned, and other reflections at night. Even if it is not exempt from the verse, “If I were a man…”, the writer Claudia Myers (still and always), manages to make us perceive this woman as a full. Or at least, someone who wants to be a full, complete, whole. Not just a military, not just a good mother, not just a friendly little friend. A all, a woman. Convinced that she can do anything, a point of view that we share from the beginning to the end of FORT BLISS can boast of featuring a character strong and charismatic without being indéboulonnable. What’s more, in the skin of Maggie, Michelle Monaghan finds herself incredibly convincing and brilliant. As if, with FORT BLISS, she had finally found a role tailor-made for it. It is still too often the “smart girl” who comes to fill the cast. I refer you to Mr & Mrs SMITH, and SOURCE CODE, not to mention MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE 3 for more information. Never be in excess or in the attempt of appropriation, Michelle Monaghan’s Maggie, and this until the end, until the last plan a bit melancholic.
“The great surprise of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival !”
Not wanting to make his film, a war film OR a drama, but both at the same time, Claudia Myers has perfectly balanced the action scenes and the scenes a little shocks of everyday life. A daily especially difficult for Maggie: her son, Paul (Oakes Fegley), 5 years old, he is indifferent to his return from Afghanistan, and refuses to spend time with it, not viewing it more like his mother. The movie is going to so, little by little, to rebuild the relationship that they had, with the ups and downs that it should be. The whole is sprinkled with a conflictual relationship with the father of Paul, Richard, who is expecting a child with his new girlfriend Alma, who, without intending to, has taken the place of Maggie in the heart of Paul. To this, add the romance, complex, raw, passionate and realistic Maggie and Luis (Manolo Cardona, REIGN) and you get the full picture of FORT BLISS. By interweaving scenes from the present and flashbackes useful, the filmmaker gives us to see everything that it is necessary to understand his main character, a better understanding of it and, ultimately, further enjoy it. By paralleling the return of Maggie and her possible departure, the film reads as a loop, a space where everything is said, where everything can be repeated, where the shares are not fixed in stone, final. A space where everyone has his place and role to play. Thanks to an original soundtrack who wants to be more intimate, FORT BLISS that lulls the viewer and confronts him, always without warning, to the harsh reality of war and life in the broadest sense !
At once A drama, romantic comedy, and war movie, FORT BLISS is one of those films that leaves its mark on you, haunt you and make you just have to love the american independent films. By freeing themselves of the codes specific to each of the genres, the movie from Claudia Myers is absolutely gorgeous. If you have a little loved the redundancy of certain acts (the door that can be opened and closed constantly), this is offset by a very good photograph, with a base of desert landscapes magnified by intoxicating silence. Carried by a duo of actors absolutely flawless (Michelle Monaghan and Oakes Fegley), FORT BLISS is the excellent surprise of this festival ! A surprise that Jacqueline Bisset herself was keen to stress during the pre-first. In short, we want more.
The champs-Elysées Film Festival 2014• Original title : Fort Bliss
• Realization : Claudia Myers
• Screenplay : Claudia Myers
• Main actors : Michelle Monaghan, Pablo Schreider, Oakes Fegley, Ron Livingston, Manolo Cardona
• Country of origin : United States
• Output : coming SOON
• Duration : 1h56mn
• Distributor : Voltage Pictures
• Synopsis : After a long mission in Afghanistan, a female doctor decorated by the U. S. Army and single mother returns home. His reunion with his son did not go as she wishes, she will try by all means to rebuild a relationship with his young son.