The story of how General Douglas MacArthur occupied Japan after Emperor Hirohito’s World War II surrender, isn’t widely known.
However, the story is brought to life in the emotional drama, Emperor, now playing nationwide.
The film, directed by Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring), stars Academy Award® winner Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Fox as General Bonner Fellers, an expert in Japanese culture and psychological warfare.
But this isn’t just a movie about war. This film, inspired by true events of 1945, also has a love story attached. At issue in the film is whether the Japanese Emperor, who is worshipped by his people, but accused of war crimes, be punished or saved.
The film unfolds a story of both secret love and international intrigue in a post-war world where trust is in short supply and the stakes for the future could not be higher.
General MacArthur essentially becomes the ruler of a foreign nation, while General Fellers works covertly to investigate the Emperor’s fate, while also looking for the mysterious school teacher who first drew him to Japan.
TOMMY LEE JONES
Of course, General MacArthur, who is credited with running the most peaceful occupation in the history of war, is one of America’s most iconic military figures. He was known for his complicated and controversial personality, coupled with a flamboyant and egotistical persona. It was thought that one day MacArthur would run for President of the United States.
While the acting is first rate, Tommy Lee Jones is his usual grumpy self. However, Fox gives a level and emotional performance that is coupled with military steeliness.
On the Donloe Scale, D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable) O (OK) and E (excellent), Emperor gets an O (OK)
Emperor (Roadside Attractions) is rated PG-13; Running time: 106 minutes