Calling something “Oscar bait” can be fairly diminishing and suggest that artists don’t have a certain purity at heart, but it’s not always meant that way. Sometimes it just becomes obvious that an epic narrative that needed to be told on screen could be all lined up for year-end awards, because it has a certain spirit, a certain pedigree. Angelina Jolie’s upcoming “Unbroken” is one such film, and Universal Pictures smartly tapped the on-going Sochi Winter Olympics to tease out a little bit of footage from the film, which only recently wrapped in Australia.
The film will tell the incredible true story of Olympian-turned-WWII POW Louis Zamperini and was a project that many filmmakers considered before Jolie stepped up to the plate to will it into being. An adaptation of Zamperini’s book, the script alone is packed with Oscar-winning and -nominated writers, from the Coen brothers to Richard LaGravenese (“The Fisher King”) to William Nicholson (“Gladiator,” “Shadowlands”).
Of course, sometimes these films don’t pan out as awards season players. There’s a long line of such aspirants, the fall of more than a few probably owed, in part, to early speculation such as this. But ask anyone with a passing interest in this which film looks like a potential Oscar hound a year in advance, “Unbroken” is sure to be top of mind.
Get a load of some footage from the film, featuring Roger Deakins’ as-ever sterling photography, in the special Olympics clip below.
“Unbroken” arrives in theaters on Christmas Day 2014.