Since today is my VC’s birthday, I felt it only appropriate to include one of her favorite movies on this day of my film countdown. Honestly, she loves this movie way more than I do, probably putting it in her top 50. I’m more cool toward it, but I’ll still admit that Robert Redford is as charming as ever as Tom Booker and actually does a nice job as both actor and director.
I don’t love, love, love this movie like my VC, simply because it is somewhat of a chick flick and a long and slow-paced one at that. Still, there is much to admire, mainly in the acting and cinematography. Kristin Scott Thomas as Annie gets more likable as the film goes on, and Scarlett Johansson shines in one of her early roles as the traumatized Grace. The scenery of the Montana ranch is breathtaking and truly glorious. Plus, the birds-eye views of the highway snaking through the countryside during Annie’s road trip across America offer unique perspectives I haven’t seen elsewhere.
I also appreciate the moral ending. I mentioned in my post on Witness that the end of that film was unsatisfying since the Amish woman had already slept with John Book, acting on her passions, before deciding to remain Amish as if nothing had happened. Here, Annie is clearly tempted by Tom, and he by her, but neither does anything to really put the other over the edge. In the end, her leaving is sad but more understandable since she was essentially stopping herself before their romance went too far. This decision wasn’t popular with some critics, but it’s one that I respect much more than the one in Witness.
Overall, The Horse Whisperer is a well-made film with magnificent vistas and an interesting view of a way of life foreign to most, one that, like the Amish lifestyle, I do not envy for myself but I certainly admire. I will say, though, that this romance will mainly appeal to Robert Redford fans and horse enthusiasts, like my VC.
Best line: (Annie) “I don’t jog, Mr. Booker, I run.” (Tom) “Well that’s lucky for you. The grizzlies around here mostly go for the joggers.”Artistry: 7 Characters/Actors: 8 Entertainment: 4 Visual Effects: 5 Originality: 5 Watchability: 4 Other (language): -3 TOTAL: 30 out of 60
Tomorrow: #306: King Kong (2005)
© 2014 S. G. Liput