This is my review of A Thousand Times Good Night [Blu-ray].
Driven by anger over injustice and the desire to make ordinary people aware of it, courageous yet impetuous, Rebecca is an internationally acclaimed war photographer. Is this fair on her longsuffering husband left to shoulder the responsibility of two daughters, or on the children themselves, the elder of whom is beginning to grasp the full extent of the risks her mother is taking? Does Rebecca get too much of a buzz out of the danger? What exactly does her work achieve, particularly when she is seriously injured in the process? These are not the kind of questions, of course, over which male war photographs are forced to agonise to the same degree.
Starting with a tense scene in which Rebecca films a young woman preparing for a suicide bomber attack, some may find the film too harrowing. Yet, it is for the most part a moving and thoughtful examination of an important current issue. The grimness is relieved by moments of humour and the beauty of the Irish coast where Rebecca's husband works – and you can't help wondering, as he does, how she can bear to swap this for the dusty mayhem of Kabul or a Kenyan refugee camp. The film presents both sides of the argument, avoids tipping over into sentimentality, and reaches an unpredictable and well-judged ending.
Juliet Binoche's acting in the main role is outstanding, and she is well-supported by those playing her often bewildered husband and children.