Director: I want to make a war picture, one that shows how brutal it really is, and how it affects those who have to fight in it.
Producer: Well, I don't know...
Director: Wait, I'm not done. My idea is to tell it from the point of view of the enemy.
Producer: Hmm. I get it. Sort of a "we're all the same underneath" sort of thing. It could work.
Director: It will work. It'll be based on a respected book. Trust me, it's sure to get a Best Picture nod.
Producer: OK, I'm sold! Whad'ya gonna call it?
Director: All Quiet on the Western Front.
I thought Letters from Iwo Jima was a well-made film and a good war movie, but aside from the novelty of being an American film in which most of the dialogue is in Japanese, there's not much to set it apart from any other war movie. It's not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but of the Best Picture nominees I've seen thus far, I think it's definitely the least of the four.