Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the Sheriff, the bank, and each other.
After his daughter died in a hit and run, Freddy Gale has waited six years for John Booth, the man responsible, to be released from prison. On the day of release, Gale visits Booth and announces that he will kill him in one week. Booth uses his time to try and make peace with himself and his entourage, and even finds romance. Gale, whose life is spiralling down because of his obsession towards Booth, will bring himself on the very edge of sanity. At the end of the week, both men will find themselves on a collision course with each other.Written by
I puzzle at those reviewers criticizing this film, which to my mind is a tour de force. Of course, I do volunteer work with dying folks and help train aspiring grief counselors to deal with the traumas that life all too often brings us. I can only assume that those who so quickly dismiss this powerful meditation on grief and remorse have yet to experience these real life emotions. Something by Schwarzenegger may be more to their taste, or one of the ubiquitous comic book recreations we encounter most summers with cardboard characters and pseudo emotions.
Sean Penn is plumbing much deeper regions of the human psyche, and doing so with actors of rare talent, fully capable of sharing with us their heart rending vulnerabilities. Few actors have the courage to go to the places these actors visit as they face suffering almost too great to bear. I'm reminded of the more recent Mystic River for which Sean Penn received an Academy award for best actor, a movie that explores equally traumatizing events. It was heartening to watch the joy with which this award was greeted by his fellow professionals who have long acknowledged this man's genius both in front of and behind the camera. This movie deserves a much wider audience of discriminating movie viewers.
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