Date watched: Saturday 4th February 2017

Format: Cinema

Year released: 2017

First time watching?: Yes

From IMDb: “WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.”

Typical Oscar fodder, as most films are this time of year, “Hacksaw Ridge” is the story of an American war hero. This movie was marketed as such and movies similar to this one tend to perform very well at the Academy Awards.

I expect great things from this movie at the Academy Awards this year. It’s nominated for six Oscars, and if Andrew Garfield doesn’t win his for Best Actor for his portrayal of Desmond Doss then, quite simply, he will have been robbed. He certainly has come a long way since his two episode stint on “Doctor Who” back in 2007 which is the first thing I personally saw him in. The supporting cast were also fantastic, with rich and detailed back stories for everyone, even those who only got a few minutes of screen time.

Mel Gibson surprised us several years ago with his direction of “Apocalypto”, which was a movie I didn’t want to see but my husband dragged me to, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying. That was ten years ago, but in those ten years he’s clearly managed to become a very good director. Not a single shot was wasted, and for an American war hero movie, the direction managed to not glorify war but instead showed the true heart of those people who fought in those wars in order to keep their countries safe.

After watching the movie my husband and I did some research on the real Doss, and were amazed to find that half of the heroic deeds he performed in the movie were actually toned down because director, Mel Gibson, didn’t think people would believe some of the stuff Doss did when on the battlefield. In all seriousness, go and do some of that research; I still can’t get over some of the stuff.

This movie was amazing. Absolutely wonderful and fantastic piece of cinema. While not a movie for the faint hearted, this movie handled it’s subject matter incredibly well, without glorifying war or violence as many films in this vein tend to do. I’m really hoping that, although “La La Land” will probably sweep the board in many other categories, the awards for Best Actor go to Andrew Garfield for this movie. I usually find war movies repetitive and predictable, but I thought this particular war movie was fantastic.

My rating: 9/10