By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Steven Spielberg is a gifted filmmaker, but as Ms. Taylor so rightly points out, he is his own worst enemy. He should have enough confidence in his work to let it speak for itself. If the film itself doesn't speak to the audience, then no amount of explanations by Spielberg outside the theater will help.
Which is not to say that Saving Private Ryan doesn't speak to its audience. Tom Hanks will undoubtedly receive an Oscar nomination. (Indeed, the performances in this film, from star to extra, are uniformly good.) So too will Steven Spielberg and his film, for this is the kind of movie the Academy loves. Saving Private Ryan reaffirms our deeply held belief that Americans can and will kill without becoming killers, that no matter how terrible the struggle, how bloody the carnage, we will emerge not only victorious but untainted by the evil that is war.
In an otherwise insightful review of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, Ella Taylor stumbles badly when she asserts that D-Day operations were "bungled" by Allied strategists.
An invasion of France had been agreed upon as an eventual strategic and logistical necessity as early as 1942. Allied landings in North Africa and Italy were necessary rehearsals for green U.S. troops who, before 1944, would have stood no chance against the German western defenses, even if they had had the necessary materiel, which they did not. On 6 June 1944, Allied planners, far from bungling, succeeded in pulling off the most successful military deception since the Trojan horse. A "phantom" army was created around General George Patton, leading the German High Command to move precious Panzer divisions from Normandy to positions reinforcing the Pas de Calais. This magnificent Allied strategic deception was crucial in preventing the German defenders from eliminating the Anglo-American beachhead. God only knows what would have happened otherwise.
All the ranks who participated in the landing more or less understood the odds involved, and even informed civilians knew that an invasion could not possibly be anything but the "abattoir" referred to by Ms. Taylor. This is what makes the dedication and courage of the nearly wiped-out 2nd Ranger Battalion so moving. The heart-tearing emotion evoked by Spielberg's honest account of their conscious self-sacrifice is still keenly felt by everyone who appreciates what was at stake at Normandy.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city