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.