in Michael Winterbottom
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This chapter aims to suggest some of the ways in which A Mighty Heart's lineaments mark it unmistakably as a Michael Winterbottom film. First, it strikes one at once as yet another foray into politically dangerous territory. In this respect, it reminds one of Welcome to Sarajevo, which found drama in the war-torn Balkan states of the former Yugoslavia. There is a further echo of Welcome to Sarajevo in that its protagonist is again a journalist attempting to monitor this volatility, the while preserving a core of integrity, though A Mighty Heart has less of the conventional excitement of the man-in-a-fraught-situation than the earlier film. What Winterbottom offers in A Mighty Heart is, then, a species of literary adaptation, yoked to techniques of documentary drama with an overriding social awareness - and perhaps for the first time, in the sheer physicality and emotional rigour of Jolie's performance, a star vehicle.


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