An Accidental Soldier (TV Movie 2013) Poster

(2013 TV Movie)

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Outstanding use of the medium
bridon-792-52863515 September 2013
True to period, people & place. Brilliantly done, a visual feast, very captivating & real in performance & visual detail. Refreshing realism in language barrier. Ward has used the medium to the utmost of ability to tell a deep & passionate story, without waste, pretension or fluff. Love it and know that I will be recalling the images for many years to come. I don't think I could have even begun to imagine that a french provincial, Great War movie could have been depicted in such a true fashion so simply & with as much detail. The actors whom I've not come across before, other than Zamiro, were outstanding, the cinematography captured facial expressions & personality beautifully. Loved the way words were almost irrelevant except as a tone of voice. Will be enjoyed & contemplated in many a conversation post viewing.
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beautiful film
cathienowak15 September 2013
I sat down to watch this film without expecting anything special, and how wrong I was! Rachel Ward has done a wonderful job, the acting is superb, the story original, deeply moving and handled with subtlety. The casting is perfect, I can't imagine any other actors who would have played these roles with the sensitivity, credibility and honesty of Dan Spielman and Marie Bunel in particular. Harry is a vulnerable, sensitive man who just can't stomach the senseless slaughter of war and wants no more part of it, and hence is labeled by society as a worthless deserter. But as the film progresses we see him as a man of great strength, courage and loyalty, and of immense worth as a person, who earns the love and respect of Colombe. Julia Zamiro & Bryan Brown were also terrific and added further complexity and interest to the film. Congratulations to Rachel Ward, your film is just a delight to watch, very highly recommended.
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A Warm and Unexpected Love Story
KerrenL16 September 2013
Harry is a gentle soul who does not sign up to fight because he does not want to kill anyone, or anything. He is, in 1918, what would now be termed a Conscientious Objector but they certainly did not recognise that then. When he can no longer stand the pressure, he goes to war - but in his trade, as a baker. But things change not long after he arrives at the front, and he is forced to fight. After he deserts and is taken in by a French farm wife, his life changes. Dan Spielman plays the part of Harry beautifully and is very believable. The same goes for Marie Bunel as Colombe, the French farm wife. The film was skillfully directed by Rachel Ward and her husband, Bryan Brown, has a small but vital part in the latter part of the film. The French scenery was gorgeous and the cinematography was well executed. I loved this film because I cared about the characters and what would happen to them. My eyes were glued to the screen for the whole film. I highly recommend it.
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A film of rare craft
jameshassett6 February 2016
I was a little hesitant to view this film, but it's a true keeper. It's on my hard drive where in all likelihood it will stay. And that is a rarity. This is essentially a low action movie, but it is truly atmospheric. All actors are superb and rather understated. I have no knowledge of Marie Bunel - she was simply wonderful in her portrayal of a French woman, struggling through through rural French life in World War 1. Dan Spielman is equally good. He found compassion for his role as a deserter. The scenery is finely chosen, and the direction unbelievably good. I know Rachel Ward has credits in varied production areas (including acting and directing) but she shows rare finesse here. Her husband is Brian Brown, who plays a lesser role. I have always thought he overcast, but he is much more restrained. Do yourself a favour and catch this. It's currently rating a 7.1 which certainly should indicate a watchable production. I can't think of a recent film I'd give a 10, but this one has that score.
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A very good Australian film
eyeintrees20 August 2017
Usually, I wonder if I should watch most Australian movies. They're either wonderful or terrible and rarely anything in between.

It was a delight to watch an intelligent war movie for a change... in other words, one where it's clearly shown that war is one of greatest wrongs and absurdities of humanity.

In running away from the war, an Australian baker, (never meant to go to the killing fields and yet does... supposed to be baking bread for the troops until too many soldiers are murdered and they need anyone they can get their hands on for cannon fodder,) he takes refuge with an older French woman and... although it sounds like a cliché and as if would all go downhill to Hollywood schmoo from there, it most certainly doesn't.

Wonderfully directed by Rachel Ward, this is a kind, sensitive and gentle film that does not whitewash the foulness of war and yet doesn't invite us to partake of it, either.
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Brilliant Sensitive Look at the Human Toll of War
LeonardKniffel23 June 2020
It is difficult to understanding why a film of this sensitivity and beauty is not more widely recognized as a superb cinematic achievement. The sensitivity of the performances. the lush beauty of the sets, and the unpretentious handling of dialogue in French and English is a wonder to behold. Make no mistake, this is an anti-war movie but only to the extent that it exposes the human toll and injustice suffered by ordinary human beings who are caught in its horror. Marie Bunel and Dan Spielman are nothing short of astonishing. There is nothing predictable, sentimental, maudlin, or vulgar about this perfect movie.
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