I’m not a big fan of war films… hell, war-related anything, especially with the onslaught of war shooters that have plagued gaming for the past decade. However, unlike the video game universe, Hollywood hasn’t really been overwhelmed by WWII-inspired films for awhile. Unlike Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan comes Emperor.
Directed by Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring), the film takes place during the crucial period directly after America occupied Japan. Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black 3) stars as General Douglas MacArthur (Popeye corncob and all) as he is in charge of ensuring peace lasts between the US and Japan. Matthew Fox (Lost) plays MacArthur’s right-hand man, General Bonner Fellers, who must decide whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried for his war crimes against humanity. Of course, a romantic subplot is intertwined as Fellers also searches for a Japanese foreign exchange student whom he fell in love with during her time in America.
Sounds like a nice twist to the WWII formula, no? Emperor premieres tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival. The official synopsis for the film is below the jump.
A gripping tale of love and honor forged between fierce enemies of war, EMPEROR unfolds the story, inspired by true events, of the bold and secret moves that won the peace in the shadows of post-war Japan. Matthew Fox joins Academy Award® winner Tommy Lee Jones and newcomer Eriko Hatsune to bring to life the American occupation of Japan in the perilous and unpredictable days just after Emperor Hirohito’s World War II surrender. As General Douglas MacArthur (Jones) suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation, he assigns an expert in Japanese culture – General Bonner Fellers (Fox), to covertly investigate the looming question hanging over the country: should the Japanese Emperor, worshiped by his people but accused of war crimes, be punished or saved? Caught between the high-wire political intrigue of his urgent mission and his own impassioned search for the mysterious school teacher (Hatsune) who first drew him to Japan, Fellers can be certain only that the tricky subterfuge about to play out will forever change the history of two nations and his heart.