Notch up another great role for Tommy Lee Jones here, as his starring performance in the lead of In The Valley Of Elah
is a further acting performance of real merit. And this from the man who has already recently added the equally excellent No Country For Old Men
to his CV.
In The Valley Of Elah, however, is a very different beast. Its the new film from writer/director Paul Haggis, he who previously brought us Oscar-winner Crash, and Jones stars as Hank Deerfield, a man who decides to take matters into his own hands when he finds out that his son has disappeared. However, what complicates matters is that Deerfields son is a soldier on leave, and the military are proving to be little help in getting to the bottom of the mystery.
Yet theres far more to In The Valley Of Elah than that, even though its narrative is interesting and surprising. No, there are real layers of drama here, and none more obvious than those surrounding Jones character (the lead actor, incidentally, snagged a richly-deserved Oscar nomination for his work here). Hes an understated, yet brilliant, creation, and one quite wonderfully brought to life. In conjunction with Susan Sarandon as his wife, and Charlize Theron as the detective he enlists the help of, In The Valley Of Elah emerges as one of the most unfairly overlooked films of recent times, and one thats ripe for discovery on DVD. A superb piece of work. --Jon Foster