Directed by Thomas Bezucha
Starring: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Lesley Manville, Will Brittain, Jeffrey Donovan, Kayli Carter, Booboo Stewart
Runtime: 114 Minutes
Rating: R (for Violence and Language)
This week we get back into the western genre. I was looking forward to a nice change of pace from all the horror films. Even though I LOVE horror movies. I honestly can’t remember if I’ve done a review on a western. I think the closet thing would be The Mule with Clint Eastwood (great film!) Obviously, you’ll know the films leads. Kevin Costner has started to make a comeback in recent years in smaller roles but we all remember him from the 80s and 90s. I mean he was Robin Hood, and of course Waterworld. Diane Lane has always been a great actress as well. A little tidbit for you. The pair was cast as Superman’s parents (human parents) in the most recent movies. The chemistry worked there even if it was short-lived and it works here as well. I’ve always enjoyed westerns but we don’t get many good ones anymore. This film is also based on a novel written in 2013 that has the same name.
Onto the film.
We open with a young man tending to his horse. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, and immediately I noticed the scenic view of the farm around him. There was silence as he worked in a stable and got ready to ride. Then the music starts and you immediately get that western feel. I kept writing “somber” in my notes and that feeling resonated with me throughout. We then see one of our protagonists George (Costner.) He’s a retired sheriff and it’s shown that in his house lives his wife Margaret (Lane) and their son James (Bruce), their daughter-in-law Lorna (Carter), and newborn named Jimmy. I also realized early on (from the set, costume, and cars) that this film was set in the 60s.
At this point I really hate to give away more of the plot because something CRUCIAL happens in the opening minutes. I was immediately shocked and this “situation” pushes the whole film. From here on out I’ll remain vague because I really think you should see this film.
The rest of this film plays out as a journey, an odyssey, almost. We meet different characters throughout as George (Costner) and Margaret (Lane) go on their journey. One of my favorite characters was Peter Drags wolf (Stewart) a young Native American man living out on his
own. As the couple ventures to North Carolina their journey has many different twists and turns which surprised me.
As I mentioned earlier, the acting between the leads and chemistry was fantastic. I watched each character closely and truly didn’t see a weak link in the cast. Even Jimmy the young boy was interesting to watch. It also seemed the film was shot on location because I saw beautiful scenic shots of Montana and North Dakota. The score of the film really allowed for the audience to be drawn in. I was impressed.
A note on the genre. I mentioned it’s a western. It reminded me of the modern classic No Country for Old Men. However in the later parts of the film the genre seemed to twist. It felt almost if it became a horror movie/thriller. The villains in this film were truly terrifying. We saw a lot of horror movies in October but these monsters were some of the best. Next week I’d imagine we will delve more into the plot than this week, but like I said, I want you to be drawn in immediately like I was with how the film starts.
If you’re a fan of Kevin Costner. Go see this film. If you like westerns. Go see this film. Most importantly PLEASE go support local business. 4 stars out of 5