Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche stars as Rebecca, a war photojournalist. Rebecca is fearless, going to the front lines in war torn zones, putting herself in extremely dangerous situations. While documenting a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, she is badly hurt. It is only when she is in the hospital that we learn she is a wife and mother - and that her husband has had enough. An ultimatum is issued - her job or her family....
I was drawn in from the opening scenes of this film, fascinated and then horrified as I realized what was happening. The juxtaposition between the chaos of the opening few scenes and then cutting to the peaceful Irish countryside is jarring. And it mirrors Rebecca's feelings, emotions and state of mind.
Conflict, desire, want and need are wound throughout the film - the wars Rebecca covers, the struggle between staying at home and capturing conflict and exposing it to the world, to tamp down her desire to be where the action is, the need to document these atrocities for the world, the wanting to be a good mother, wife and friend and more.
Binoche is a brilliant actor. Her performance in this film is remarkable - moving and oh so believable. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays husband Marcus. He too, turned in a good performance - I understood his need to protect his daughters, but I grew angry with his behavior. Young Lauren Canny plays daughter Stephanie. The scenes between her and Rebecca are poignant, as Steph slowly comes to understand what it is her mother does - and why.
As I watched, I was thinking to myself how well this film was done - the cinematography, the attitudes, the passion and the drive to expose atrocities to the world. It was only in the film's bio section that I discovered that director Erik Poppe was a war photojournalist himself in the 1980's. He too went through the same personal and professional conflicts he's given to Rebecca.
Excellent acting, compelling topic, eye-opening situations - and definitely recommended.