TIFF 2015: Eye in the Sky

eye in the sky

I was disappointed that Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and Alan Rickman were not at this morning’s encore screening of Eye in the Sky. Maybe they celebrated too hard after last night’s premiere.

That was the one and only disappointment of the whole experience. Eye in the Sky may in fact have exceeded my expectations. Director Gavin Hood had already addressed the subject of the moral sacrifices in preventing terror attacks in 2006’s Rendition but not nearly as effectively as he does here. When a drone strike targeting several known terrorists in Somalia – who can disperse any minute making it impossible to track all of them – becomes much more complicated when a little girl enters the kill zone. Commanding officers, drone pilots, and politicians from three countries must weigh the pros, cons, ends, and means as they desperately try and force someone else to make the tough decision. Risk killing one child to save 80 children? It’s tense as hell, beautifully shot, and funny. I would be interested in hearing from Jay and Sean, who were at last night’s premiere, whether their audience reacted so enthusiastically to the humour in the middle act as the desperate passing of the buck starts to resemble farce.

I should mention that, despite the absence of some of the film’s bigger stars, Barkhad Abdi  (Oscar-nominated for his fantastic supporting work in Captain Philips) got up early to join Hood onstage for a thought-provoking and lively question period. I am not sure when Eye in the Sky is due for wide release but I hope a lot of people go see it.

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10 thoughts on “TIFF 2015: Eye in the Sky

  1. Sean

    Jay and I really enjoyed Eye in the Sky. The audience at the premiere was very engaged, and how could they not be? This is a tense movie throughout. It poses an impossible question: how do you weigh the value of lives? There were definitely laughs at the bureaucracy, though to me the portrayal was more real than farce – no one wanted to make that tough call. And I totally get why. It was a very human movie about war and that was what I liked most about it. It really is a great movie!

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    1. Matt Post author

      Yeah, the humour definitely comes from the reality and frustration of the situation, not out of some pressure on the director or writer to include “funny parts”. At our screening, Gavin Hood advised us not to judge the beaurocrats too harshly until we questions what we ourselves would do sitting at that table.

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