When news first broke that Oliver Stone was tackling the story of 9/11, many scoffed at the filmmaker that leans towards the conspiracy theory.
In fact, what Stone created was a subtle tribute to the day that changed America. In World Trade Center, 9/11 is illustrated from the first person. Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena portray a pair of Port Authority police officers who, on duty on 9/11, patrol the lower levels of the World Trade Center.
When tragedy strikes, audiences feel it
Upon hearing the fateful, final moment of American innocence when plane collides into building, Cage leads his crew to what he believes is safety. Only, this is 9/11 and as America knows the world -- things are about to permanently change.
On the ground, Stone paints from a palette of pure emotion in World Trade Center. Skeptics may twitch, but Stone seizes the moment as no other filmmaker has from the perspective of those in Manhattan on one of America's worst days, if not its most horrid.
This writer knew someone well on the 100-plus floor of Tower 2 and witnessing the majesty of Stone's sensitivity to the horror of that day eases – ever slightly -- the pain of the terror of 9/11.
To quote a president from another time, "a day that will live in infamy" has two meanings now in American history. December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. 9/11 is a day of the worst of memories. At the same time, 9/11 reminds us that America is an idea that is of the most purest of ideals. An entire way of life was attacked eight years ago.
With Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, honoring the sacrifice of 9/11 from the perspective of those who it cost the most, is a cinematic eulogy to 3,000-plus lives from not only America, but from the world's populous.
When filmmaker Paul Greengrass released United 93 in 2006, he purposely cast a group of actors who would melt into the background -- no one recognizable.
The stars of this film would be the real-life heroes that brought down an airplane turned weapon on one of America's worst days.
What Greengrass could not have counted on was the performance of David Alan Basche as Todd Beamer. As the heart of United 93, Basche shows his Titanic thespian power as the voice of resistance. 9/11 could have been worse if not for the heroism of the passengers of United flight 93.
As seen in Greengrass' film, their memory is treasured forever.
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