For The Moment
Many of us are familiar with Russell Crowe's fantastic performances in L.A. Confidential and The Insider, but he made a small Canadian film a few years back called, For The Moment. With its romantic storyline, the film is a great Valentine's Day selection.
Set in 1942, Crowe stars as Arthur, an Australian pilot who is participating in the British Commonwealth Air Training Program - an effort to train pilots from Australia, Canada, Scotland and other countries for World War II duty. He has arrived in Manitoba for a crash course in fighter skills and realizes that he must make the most of it. Like other pilots, he knows that the life span for a fighter pilot in World War II is a mere six weeks, so he might be living his final days.
He quickly befriends his partner, Johnny (Peter Outerbridge). Johnny is a local guy with a girlfriend, Kate (Sara McMillan), that he intends to marry. Arthur soon gets to know the rest of Kate's family, including her fighter pilot brother, Dennis and her married sister, Lill (Christianne Hirt).
Lill is lonely because she married her sweetheart days before he went to war. They haven't seen each other for years and she always lives with the fear that he will never come home. Soon, Arthur and Lill fall hard for each other, but Lill feels like she is cheating on her husband.
Will Lill and Arthur find true love before he gets shipped out?
Most of the performances are excellent, especially Christianne Hirt as the guilty, lonely war bride. She is still young and wishes she was living a traditional life as a happily married newlywed. When Arthur comes into her life, he serves as a substitute for the husband who is overseas. Hirt is careful not to let her character become too pitiful, and shows a zest for life. Her performance keeps the film from becoming too mushy.
Writer/Director Aaron Kim Johnston does a wonderful job of creating a tender, but challenging look at the lives of those involved in the war. Instead of delivering exactly what we would expect, he complicates the plotline by foreshadowing an event, then giving us an unexpected outcome. This bait and switch tactic enlivens the film and keeps the viewer interested. It's not fun to watch a movie where you can predict what's going to happen next, so Johnston comes up with unexpected, but satisfying, results.
Russell Crowe is the person who emerged from this film to become a star. Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, he is very well known and respected down under. In 1990, the Australian Film Institute nominated him as Best Actor for The Crossing. In 1991, he won the Best Supporting Actor award for Proof, and, in 1992, the Best Actor award for Romper Stomper. Russell also won the 1993 Best Actor award at the Seattle International Film Festival. He was chosen by Sharon Stone to co-star in her movie, The Quick and the Dead, which he credits as his big break. Often, Crowe likes to thank Stone publicly for his success in Hollywood.
Get your tissues and check out For The Moment this weekend.
Directed and written by Aaron Kim Johnston
Russell Crowe Arthur
Christianne Hirt ... Lill
Wanda Campbell Brenda
Scott Kraft .. Zeke
Peter Outbridge ... Johnny
Sara McMillan .Kate
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