Extra Cinema: Unbroken (15)

Starring: Jack O’ConnellDirector: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie’s third feature film behind the camera has the hallmarks of 24-carat Academy Awards bait.

Based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken documents the extraordinary true story of Louis Zamperini, who competed at the 1936 Olympic Games, survived a plane crash during the Second World War then endured torture at the hands of the Japanese in a POW camp.

Somehow, Zamperini weathered the pain and returned home a national hero.

Jolie’s admiration for her subject is evident in every gorgeously crafted frame of this life-affirming biopic, which is blessed with Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography and an elegiac score from composer Alexandre Desplat.

Wince-inducing scenes of cruelty warrant the film’s 15 certificate but the violence always serves the narrative and is never gratuitous.

Unbroken soars close to greatness, emboldened by tour-de-force performances from O’Connell and pop star Miyavi, who makes his professional acting debut.

Rating: 7.5/10