Russell Crowe's directorial debut The Water Diviner has just released a new featurette including shots from the film and its production. The story centers on the aftermath of the Battle of Gallipoli, with Crowe playing a father who searches for the bones of his three sons whom he believes have been killed there.
Check out the featurette here:
Quick history lesson; Gallipoli was a WWI campaign in the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey) which had, for six centuries, been the center point of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds. The battle was essentially the Allies (Britain, France and Russia) trying to prevent Germany from seizing this passageway to the Russian Empire. Following this battle, Australia and New Zealand emerged as independent nations and Gallipoli is mutually known by both as the 'baptism of fire'.
As an important topic for these two countries, it has been used in a number of films; most popularly by native Australian Peter Weir. Weir's film Gallipoli stars Mel Gibson as a soldier who enlists in the Australian Army to fight for the British.
Crowe's piece focuses post these events, the story deriving from a letter that one of the writers discovered while researching another project. The project will show flashbacks to the father's time with his sons contrasted with his search for their bones. From the featurette, it appears Crowe will be also focusing on in the casualties of the Turkish people, a fact which has been rarely touched upon in Western movies. He himself admits he was shocked when he learned the number.
It will be interesting to see how Crowe handles the directing chair having worked with some of the greats himself. Based on the featurette, the story is what attracted him most to the piece and being a proud New Zealander, I'd say he's very happy to have the chance to say something about his own neck of the woods. The scale of the piece would be my only worry for his first outing as director. Epics notoriously can be overlong, bloated and or nonsensical if handled wrongly. But as Crowe says in the trailer it's a 'page one love story' for him, so we might just see a real passion project from an already well accomplished actor.
Shot by cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (Lord of the Rings) the piece certainly comes across as a sprawling old style epic; large sets and large emotions. A fairly unrecognizable Jai Courtney appears as Lt-Col Cecil Hilton; hopefully managing to shake off any fallout left by Die Hard 6.
The movie has not received an official release date or distribution company in the US.
So, tell me who is the best Actor turned Director and why?
Best Actor turned Directors?