The director’s new film Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield, has won over critics and audiences at the Venice Film Festival, receiving a full 10 minute standing ovation for the portrayal of the true story of soldier Private Doss.
It also generated Oscar buzz, as talk turned to him being in line for the Best Director Oscar at next year’s Academy Awards.
The 60-year-old has spent years trying to shake off his past, in which he made anti-Semitic slurs following an arrest on suspicion of drink driving. He has also made homophobic and racist comments, and in 2011 pleaded no contest to battering ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
His World War II film got four stars from The Telegraph and had glowing reviews from The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter.
Andrew Pulver of the Guardian said in his four-star review that Gibson was ‘looking for redemption’ with this new film and that he had found it.
‘Hacksaw Ridge couldn’t be more perfect,’ he wrote.
The film is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield. During one of the bloodiest battles of WWII, Private Doss refused to even lift a gun, and saved the lives of 75 men without firing a single bullet.
He was the only American soldier of the entire war to fight in the front lines without a weapon. An army medic, he saved wounded men from behind enemy lines risking his own life in the process. He was awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honour.
Hacksaw Ridge stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Teresa Palmer and Sam Worthington. It is yet to be given a UK release date but will arrive in cinemas in the US on November 4.
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