One surprising thing about this film, originally produced for HBO, was the gamble that the casting director used in using two actors usually relegated to the supporting cast - John Heard and Christopher Lloyd - for the starring roles. The gamble paid off magnificently - I don't think I've seen better performances from either of these two men; they really are the real-life people that they play: Heard as local Alaska wildlife officer Dan Lawn, and Lloyd as Exxon executive Frank Iarossi. The film avoids the usual glossy made-for-TV movie-of-the-week style to become a much more incisive film with a big-budget feel about the subtle business and political maneuvering that follow a tragedy such as the Exxon tanker crash in Valdez, Alaska. Kudos to the excellent cinematography of Alaska. I also appreciated the fact that this film was fair in portraying a business executive as a human and sympathetic character rather than the swiny caricature common in so many other films. The filmmakers deserve a congratulations for doing their homework to make each aspect of the film ring true.
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