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A Mighty Heart (film)

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Title: A Mighty Heart (film)  
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Subject: Michael Winterbottom, John Orloff, Archie Panjabi, François Chalais Prize, Dan Futterman
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A Mighty Heart (film)

A Mighty Heart
Promotional poster
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Produced by Brad Pitt
Andrew Eaton
Dede Gardner
Screenplay by John Orloff
Story by Sara Crichton
Based on A Mighty Heart 
by Mariane Pearl
Starring Angelina Jolie
Dan Futterman
Will Patton
Alyy Khan
Adnan Siddiqui
Irfan Khan
Music by Harry Escott
Molly Nyman
Cinematography Marcel Zyskind
Edited by Peter Christelis
Distributed by Paramount Vantage
Release dates
  • June 22, 2007 (2007-06-22)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million
Box office $18,935,657

A Mighty Heart is a 2007 drama film directed by Michael Winterbottom; It is an adaptation of Mariane Pearl's memoir, A Mighty Heart.[1][2] A Mighty Heart was met with relatively positive reviews from both critics and viewers alike.

The film was screened out of competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival,[3] before being released in North America on June 22, 2007.[4]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Box office performance 4
  • Critical reception 5
    • Criticism 5.1
  • Awards 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


A Mighty Heart is a detailed account of the search for kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter[5] Daniel Pearl in 2002.

Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi by supporters of Omar Sheikh, who claimed responsibility (and was later captured and convicted but is appealing the ruling) for kidnapping and beheading Pearl in 2002. The movie also covers efforts by Pakistan's Security Forces, Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) to track the kidnappers and bring them to justice.



A Mighty Heart was filmed in France and India, during the summer and fall of 2006.[6] Fearing the safety of the film crew, the Karachi-scenes were shot in Pune, India. But some of the shots were shot on actual locations in Karachi.

Box office performance

A Mighty Heart performed poorly at the box office, only earning a total revenue of $18 million compared to its production budget of $16 million.[7] The film opened June 22, 2007 in the United States and Canada and grossed $3.9 million in 1,355 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #10 at the box office. It went on to gross $18,727,125 worldwide.[7] As of December 16, the film has grossed an additional $5.4 million in DVD/VHS sales and rentals in the United States.[8]

Critical reception

The film received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 79% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 192 reviews.[9] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 38 reviews.[10]

Jolie's performance was widely touted by top critics as her finest artistic achievement to date. Both she and the film received a positive review from Roger Ebert.[11] The film was described by Newsweek as "a movie without melodrama or movie-star lighting…allowing Jolie to deliver the most delicate, powerful and human-scale performance of her career."[12] Other favorable reviewers included Peter Travers of Rolling Stone,[13] Justin Chang of Variety[14] and Ray Bennett of The Hollywood Reporter.[4] Marc Mohan of The Oregonian named it the 10th best film of 2007.[15]

However, Andrew O'Hehir, film critic for, while finding Jolie's performance "restrained and dignified", dismissed the film itself, writing, "it feels like an extra-long episode of 24 with a bad conscience and a bad ending."[16] Entertainment Weekly‍ '​s Lisa Schwarzbaum felt that Jolie's celebrity was a problem, commenting that "Despite the best of intentions, an actress who makes her own headlines gets in the way of the big picture."[17]


Asra Nomani—a colleague of Daniel Pearl who had agreed to participate in the film—stated that the film failed to portray Pearl as a journalist, doing his job, in favor of creating a dramatic arc of "ordinary heroes". She believes Pearl would have "rolled his eyes" at that description. Describing her own response to the film, Nomani said, "For me, watching the movie was like having people enter my home, rearrange the furniture and reprogram my memory."[18]

The announcement of the casting of Angelina Jolie in the role of Mariane Pearl drew criticism within the African American community.[19] Orville Lloyd Douglas, a pop critic, has criticized the casting[20] because, he said, "Jolie is white" and Mariane Pearl is "mixed race". In fact, Pearl is the multi-racial daughter of a Dutch-Jewish father and an Afro-Chinese-Cuban mother.[16][21][22] Pearl personally chose Jolie to play the lead in A Mighty Heart.[23] In response to casting complaints, Pearl said "I have heard some criticism about her casting, but it is not about the color of your skin. It is about who you are. I asked her to play the role—even though she is way more beautiful than I am—because I felt a real kinship to her. She put her whole heart into it, and I think she understood why we should do this movie. We had something to say that we knew we should say together."[23]


On November 27, 2007, the film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards including Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Picture of the Year.

Jolie was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics' Choice Movie Award for best actress. She also received an Outstanding Performance of the Year Award for her performance from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said, "We are honored to celebrate Ms. Jolie in what is arguably one of the most extraordinary female roles of the year".[24]

Award Category Nominee Won
Golden Globe Awards[25] Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Angelina Jolie Nominated
Golden Satellite Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Angelina Jolie Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Actress Angelina Jolie Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress Angelina Jolie Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Actress Angelina Jolie Nominated
Best Film (Feature) Nominated
Best First Screenplay John Orloff Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Best Actress – Drama Angelina Jolie Nominated
34th People's Choice Awards[26] Favorite Independent Movie Nominated
Cannes Film Festival Chopard Trophy Archie Panjabi Won

See also


  1. ^ Scott Bowles (2006-10-10). "'"Jolie and Pitt, with 'Heart.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: A Mighty Heart". Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  4. ^ a b Ray Bennett (22 May 2007). "'"Review: 'A Mighty Heart.  
  5. ^ Joe Strupp (21 June 2007). WSJ' Editors Call 'A Mighty Heart' Fair and Accurate"'".  
  6. ^ "A Mighty Heart Full Production Notes". Archived from the original on 2011-02-14. 
  7. ^ a b "A Mighty Heart (2007)".  
  8. ^ A Mighty Heart - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information - The Numbers
  9. ^ "A Mighty Heart - Rotten Tomatoes".  
  10. ^ "Mighty Heart, A (2007): Reviews".  
  11. ^ Roger Ebert (June 22, 2007). "A Mighty Heart (R)".  
  12. ^ Sean Smith (25 June 2007). "Angelina Jolie wants to save the world".  
  13. ^ Peter Travers. "A Mighty Heart".  
  14. ^ Justin Chang (21 May 2007). "A Mighty Heart: Cannes Film Festival Review".  
  15. ^ "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists".  
  16. ^ a b Andrew O'Hehir (21 May 2007). "Beyond the Multiplex".  
  17. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (13 June 2007). "Movie Review: A Mighty Heart".  
  18. ^ Nomani, Asra Q. (2007-06-24). "A Mighty Shame". The Washington Post. 
  19. ^ "Angelina Jolie sparks casting controversy". 2 August 2006. Archived from the original on 30 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  20. ^  
  21. ^ Mariane Pearl (August 2006). "The woman who gave me my strength".   Note: this article is also on the Institute for Jewish & Community Research website (link).
  22. ^ Heller McAlpin (2 October 2003). "Collateral Damage".  
  23. ^ a b "10 Questions for Mariane Pearl". Time. 2007-06-21. 
  25. ^ "HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007". 2007-12-13. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  26. ^ "People's Choice Awards Past Winners: 2008". Sycamore Productions. Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links

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