Hal Prince on Kathryn Bigelow

'Hurt Locker' director gets fan mail

When I saw “The Hurt Locker” this fall, I instantly wrote its director, Kathryn Bigelow, the following:

“I cannot imagine anything else muscling in on it being this year’s best film. Your work with your collaborators is simply astonishing. Truly, I can’t understand how you did it, but admire every frame.”

Incidentally, I also wrote Jeremy Renner, who plays the lead in what is essentially an ensemble cast, expressing boundless admiration for the truth and modesty in his performance.

The film is hardly my discovery. It has picked up awards everywhere — from New York to Washington, and is on Time magazine’s best-of-the-year list. But none of that explains what it meant to me. I’ve seen a great many war films, but this one is real in a way that I can’t remember. Brilliantly written by Mark Boal, it comes off as a documentary. And its director and its cast are living it in a way I have never experienced. Why don’t I say it: I’m at a loss for words. It’s a masterpiece.

Hal Prince, who received a lifetime achievement Tony in 2006, helms “Paradise Found” this spring in London.

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