24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Empire of the Sun (Snap Case Packaging) (DVD)
In my opinion, this is Spielberg's best film. How on earth some people hate it, I do not know.
Empire of the Sun gets lost sometimes in the film snob's library; it's an epic war film, but it's also a Spielberg film, which stereotypes this masterpiece as standard Hollywood-fare. Spielberg fans want it to be faster, war fans are made uncomfortable by the deep characterization of the child protagonist. Much like Blade Runner, the audience misconceives what the movie is really about, and many film-goers absolutely refuse to empathize with a bleeding-heart child character. My only supposition is that people are too guarded about their emotions to risk feeling the sorrow and pain that these characters go through; any notion that this film is over-acted, under-acted, or lacks in character development is simply false.
Sure, the film tugs on the heart strings. But it's about a young boy destroyed by war -- it should. When it was released in 1987, audiences weren't interested in war. They were interested in light comedies, explosions, and the greed of Wall Street. No wonder this film wasn't nominated for best picture and Fatal Attraction was. If this movie were released today, it would win Best Picture in a heartbeat.