Search
Get a personalised letter from Santa

Burned body parts in the valley

PUBLISHED: 15:33 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 01 July 2010

CAPITALISING on the exceptional form that Tommy Lee Jones is in at the moment, writer/director

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

Cert 15

CAPITALISING on the exceptional form that Tommy Lee Jones is in at the moment, writer/director Paul Haggis' follow up to the oscar-winning Crash is an affecting portrait of a father who in searching for his son finds his long-held convictions shaken to the very core.

Tennessee trucker Hank Deerfield (Jones) learns that his son Mike, a soldier just back from Iraq, has disappeared from his base in New Mexico. In spite of the army dismissively saying he has probably gone off on a bender and assurances from his wife (Susan Sarandon) that everything's fine Hank, an ex military police sergeant, can't believe his son would duck his duty and sets off in search of answers. While asking questions at the base in Albuquerque some burned body parts turn up on military property but the police dismiss the incident as a drug deal gone bad.

Hank doesn't buy any of it and sets about persuading detective Emily (Charlize Theron) that his son (Jonathan Tucker, seen in flashbacks) was killed outside military jurisdiction and then dragged over the line and dismembered.

Emily agrees to help but the investigating officers seem uninterested and the two end up going it alone. The film raises some difficult questions about the emotional scars suffered by soldiers coming back from the war and is punctuated by jarring flash backs to scenes in Iraq.

Theron does a fine job as a woman struggling for respect in a male-dominated world and Saradon's turn as the worried wife is intelligently pitched. But the film's fulcrum is undoubtedly the top drawer performance from Jones as he vividly communicates Hank's every emotion as he is put through the wringer in his dogged search to get to the bottom of his son's disappearance.

* In the Valley of Elah opens on Friday.

Latest news

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

08:15

Ravens beaten by Peterborough United in FA Cup last weekend despite brave effort

Parents sporting ‘Say Yes To Bullers’ T-shirts packed into Bromley Civic Centre for the closing of a planning inquiry into a proposed school.

Wed, 07:00

There are three weeks left to donate to this year’s Christmas Charity Appeal and help to give families in need some happy memories around the festive period.

Tue, 08:54

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez in Anerley have charged a 23-year-old man with murder.

Tue, 07:00

Staff, pupils and parents from Bickley Park School are celebrating after winning an award for introducing a community initiative to help elderly residents.

Most read

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bromley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Bromley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24