You learn a lot of cool things doing this job. Just this morning, I was made aware of the Gallipoli Campaign. WWI is often overshadowed by WWII which is a shame because WWI is fascinating. Just this battle itself lasted eight full months, and had far reaching consequences for at least three countries:
The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and a major Allied failure. In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation’s history: a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli. The campaign is often considered as marking the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing, 25 April, is known as “Anzac Day” which is the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in those two countries, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).
So why did I come across the battle that served as the catalyst for an entire nation’s independence? Because Russell Crowe decided that battle would be a great backdrop for a story about a white guy and his sons.
Man, this is why we still have to bang the diversity drum. I’m not saying that Connor’s story shouldn’t be told because he’s white. I’m saying his story doesn’t need to be told because it’s already been told. This Legends of the Fall, Saving Private Ryan, Ransom mash up needed a little something so they threw in some debunked, outdated, pseudo science. The writers of this film know that we know water divining isn’t a thing, right? Are we actually expected to believe that he was able to locate his sons’ bodies because of his ability to find water with sticks?
And Russell, I don’t want to beat up on you too much. I know you’ve taken some flak for your comments on older women in Hollywood. Hell, I gave you some of that flak. But I do need to point out that maybe, just maybe, the reason you think roles are readily available for older actors and actresses is because you’ve been playing the same character for 15 effing years.