The Crossing (2000)
Daniels and the Delaware
To lay my cards on the table so you know where this review is coming from; I am not an American and have very little knowledge or interest in their history. But more importantly when I watch a movie I want to be entertained and if a historical movie then educated as well. Now being a product of A&E I was pretty sure that with "The Crossing" I would be educated as having watched some of their other productions I know that these are often more factual than not. But the trouble is that "The Crossing" lacks on being entertaining and that makes it hard work for anyone who watches with no real interest in the historical aspects of the movie.
Now "The Crossing" covers General George Washington (Jeff Daniels - My Favorite Martian) on the verge of losing the Revolutionary War and knowing that he needs to put some space between him and the enemy by crossing the Delaware River. Despite questions of his sanity Washington with the help of others push his exhausted troops across the frozen river with a major plan to attack when they are least likely to.
Now as I said I am not an American have little knowledge of American history so I watched "The Crossing" for different reasons to many who have watched it because of its historical aspect and its portrayal of George Washington. But as I also said "The Crossing" which coming across as quite factual fails to bring the element of entertainment which helps make these types of movies to speak to the masses rather than those with a specific interest in the historical story. It's not that "The Crossing" is devoid of action or is directed in a pretentious manner, in fact it is quite unfussy, but it is slow and often feels ponderous which arises from not balancing the authenticity with entertainment.
Then there is the matter of the acting and it wont be a surprise when I say that I have no idea how effective Jeff Daniels is when it comes to his portrayal of General George Washington. But what I will say is that this movie allows Daniel's to show a side to his acting not often seen and whilst he didn't fully convince me with his attempts at characterisation it was much better than I expected. Unfortunately for Daniels those actors in supporting roles such as Nigel Bennett and Roger Rees are far more convincing and it highlights the flaws in Daniels' performance.
What this all boils down to is that "The Crossing" didn't do it for me as whilst I expected a movie which was heavy in trying to be authentic it lacked the element of entertainment which I needed to make the story come to life.
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