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Far and Away
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Reviews & Ratings for
Far and Away More at IMDbPro »

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49 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Underrated storybook of a movie that embraces its cliches

10/10
Author: DeathByTelevision from United States
27 December 2003

If you pay too much attention to the cliches and unlikely situations the characters are placed, you really miss the charm of this movie. I can see how people would be put off if they were expecting a serious historical reenactment. Still, I believe that Ron Howard fully meant for this to be a fully romanticized account of the time. This movie works in many of the ways Titanic does, and I think it does it more effectively. Still, with Titanic, most people seemed more than willing to overlook the absurdities. With Far and Away, I don't think Ron Howard was trying to trick us or dumb us down. I don't think he was ever trying to underestimate the intelligence of his viewers. I think he was asking us to follow him and trust him as he told a story. I enjoyed it. Kidman and Cruise were both fun to watch. The supporting cast, although they did seem like they came from a comic book, were entertaining. I hope this movie has life on cable and DVD.

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47 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Involving, Old-Fashioned Epic

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
14 January 2007

This is a fairly long movie but one that keeps your interest - at least it did mine - all the way with an epic-type adventure tale of Irish immigrants back in the 1880s in the U.S.

This movie is broken down into three distinct parts: 1 - Ireland (40 minutes, featuring some stunning scenery and good Irish music); 2 - Boston (one hour, featuring many brutal scenes of tough Irish immigrants and bare-knuckle fights); 3 - Oklahoma (the days on mining and the famous "land rush.")

The story is very intense and involving. One well-known critic called it "old-fashioned" and meant it as an insult. Well, I think the opposite. I agree that it's old-fashioned, in that it's epic storytelling and that's a good thing. It features solid acting by Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and all the others, and Kidman isn't the only attractive thing in there. The photography is magnificent. I only wish the sound was better as there is almost nothing from the rear speakers.

Cruise is very convincing as a good man, so much so I hated to see some of those beatings he took in the Boston segment. Then again, I'm old-fashioned: I don't like to see the bad guys win over the good guys.

Overall, a memorable movie and one that you truly will care about the characters and the final outcome.

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46 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Irish immigrants caught in a cross-class romance set amidst late 19th century Boston and the Oklahoma Land Rush.

10/10
Author: Terrence L. O'Briant (terryobriant@usa.net) from Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA)
3 August 1998

A truly brilliant film, this is Ron Howard's masterpiece. I never tire of viewing Far and Away, and enjoy every moment each time I see it. This film is admirable in several respects: 1)it shows how a romance can develop over time, without the typical Hollywood touches of "whirlwind" happenings and people hopping in the sack after only a couple of days (a la "Titanic"), 2)Ron Howard captured the beauty of Ireland, the filth of a large city, and the expanse of the open prairie by resurrecting 70mm film - the colors in this film are absolutely incredible, 3)a simple, character-driven story is enhanced by the historical backdrop. In fact, there are many similarities between the romance in "Titanic" and in "Far and Away." I feel that the depiction in this film works much better than the other, mainly because of the plausibility factor (how many times would you run into the same person on a huge ship?). We understand why Shannon would want to take Joseph along with her. This is the opportunity she's been waiting for. Along the way, and through helping each other through tough circumstances, they fall for each other. This is not some momentary crush that will pass when the next good looking person walks by, we know that these two truly care for each other, and admire each other. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are perfect - one would think that they're both Irish natives. If their marriage is anything like their relationship here, it is bound to last for some time. This is, hands down, Tom Cruise's best movie ever. Here we don't see the typical cocky young man, but instead, a man driven by passion and destiny to do what needs to be done. This is probably much closer to the real Tom Cruise: Proud, without being arrogant. This film remains on my list of all-time favorites, and I look forward to seeing it on the large screen one day.

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40 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Good, Underrated Movie

9/10
Author: LynnK54 from United States
19 December 2005

I thought this movie was very well done. It is an overlooked treasure. Ron Howard is a great film maker and he deserves more credit for this film. I'm a huge Ron Howard fan and I felt that this film was no better than any of his work done thus far. The dialog was a bit hard to understand, but the plot, acting and directing are what make the movie so great. Nicole Kidman is so beautiful in the movie and she really carries the movie with her charisma. Tom Cruise plays his part very well. The scenery in the movie is some of the best I've ever seen. It is easy to lose yourself in this movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone I know.

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24 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Not too original, but Tom and Nicole heat up the scenes

8/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
28 November 2003

While the whole rich girl falls in love with the poor boy routine is a little over done, Far and Away is actually a very romantic and wonderful movie starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. I think because they had such great chemistry, they made this movie into a tear jerker. Not to mention how great the story was, a part of our history that has always been ignored, the Irish immigrants coming over to America to have land and settle down. At a time when America was the new world and very exciting, where anyone could be free, Joesph and Shannon were two very lovable characters and you just keep hoping that their dreams come true.

Shannon is a very upper class lady in Ireland with her controlling mother who wishes her to marry a snobbish land owner, Stephen. Joesph is a farm boy who has just lost his father and his home has been burned by Stephen, Shannon's father owns the land, so Joesph goes to kill him, but fails. His punishment is a duel, but he and Shannon see each other and have an instant connection but won't admit it of course, but Shannon offers for him to come with her to America to claim some land with her. He accepts her offer and goes with her. They claim to be brother and sister to survive, but soon they can no longer resist each other's love, but their family may be too strong to let them be together when Shannon's family comes to get her in America.

Far and Away is a very charming film that I'm sure you will be impressed with. It's just a very romantic film, has fun comedy to it, good drama, and has terrific pictures and sights. Ron Howard is just a fine director, he got the whole feel of the old days and that race for land at the end was just shot so beautifully. Tom and Nicole did a great job, they were so beautiful to watch and made this into a great film. I highly recommend this movie, I think you'll love it.

8/10

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25 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Who will deny Ron Howard his due?

7/10
Author: Kyle
3 January 2002

Tom Cruise may have the "worst-looking" Irish accent on the face of the planet, but it is undeniable that he and Nicole Kidman are sizzling on the silver screen together. Their intensity shines as well as their artistic ability to envelop a character and relate their thoughts to a viewer. Besides their very well done performance, the film is absolutely beautiful. Kudos to the set and costume designers that spent long hours on Far and Away. But he real story in this film is Ron Howard. It is simply a asthetic masterpiece. I spent most of my time wishing that he had just set his camera up on the prairie and filmed the grass growing. It was truly beautiful. Incidentally, sometimes one scene just makes a film. Brings it up from a good film into near 'masterpiece' status. This is one of those films. The music (the best soundtrack of the year thanks to Horner) combined with Ron Howard's vision made the "land race" scene of Far and Away and classic within itself. Put this scene up there with the chariot race in Ben Hur and the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commmandments, it is just that good. This is, far and away, one of the best films of the year.

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23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful film, a treat for the eyes and ears!

10/10
Author: IMSully from California
10 January 2003

This film is a wonderful tale of hope, failure and fulfillment. Unpopular with critics and snobs, it captures history in a rare and rewarding way, that recognizes the trials and travails of the Irish. The Gaels like so many other displaced ethnicities realized their full potential in America.

Most films never develop an audience, and even fewer develop one that transcends generations. `Far and Away' appeals to adults and young people, so much so, that it has recently been re-released in DVD format. It has also established a niche in television rebroadcasts. These annuals rebroadcasts put the lie to the "wisdom" of the critics, and prove the films natural popularity with movie-lovers.

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19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Film

9/10
Author: chessirose from HB CA
18 August 2001

This film is beautiful. It's wonderful to see Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in a good film. The movie has a pretty good historical point of view so the plot is kind of self telling. The scenery in this is great. And, it's fun to see Tom fight, and Nicole wash clothes. Oh, for the fight scenes nothing gory. For parents: this movie shouldn't be shown to really little kids. For teens it's cute. And, adults well take a crack at it. Oh by the way, a little bit of nudity, but nothing bad. Just trust me. It's a very well done and beautiful film. 9/10 stars.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The Frontier Thesis

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
10 August 2007

Back in Gone With the Wind Gerald O'Hara tried to tell Katie Scarlett the importance of the land, a lesson she took the entire film to learn. For Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman it's the land, their own bit of land to work as they please and answer to no one.

The story of Far and Away takes place in a very specific time period in the history of both Ireland and America. In Ireland the home rule movement had been dealt a stunning blow with the fall of Charles Stuart Parnell in scandal. Independence had been set back and the landlords were riding high, though not without opposition.

Opposition in this case comes in the form of Tom Cruise and his family who are Irish tenant farmers about to be tossed off their land because they can't pay the exorbitant rents. Turns out the landlord's got a most fetching daughter in Nicole Kidman who's got her eye on the peasant lad.

Far and Away is first and foremost a romance, the rich girl and the poor boy, two beautiful young people we all wish we were. Of course the real affair of Tom and Nicole and their eventual marriage is fairy tale storybook stuff on its own. It sure didn't hurt the film.

They've got a rough road ahead though. In Boston they get exploited by their own people as badly as the English are doing in the old country. Of course their eventual salvation is the Oklahoma land rush where Tom can get his own land to work.

Frederick Jackson Turner was a famous American historian who put forth the thesis that the reason America escaped the class struggles and revolutions of Europe was our frontier. It didn't work out so well for those Indians already there, but the proletarian masses instead of becoming a mob that agitators could stir to revolution just went west and made opportunities. Turner's thesis is still a widely respected paradigm in the study of American history and I think if he could have seen Far and Away, he'd say Ron Howard proved his point.

Speaking of Ron Howard, it's pretty obvious he was influenced by both versions of the Oklahoma land rush previously made in the two films of Edna Ferber's classic Cimarron. He doesn't do badly in recreating Boston of the Gay Nineties and Ireland of the same period.

And Tom and Nicole certainly look beautiful even when she's working in a factory and Tom's getting clobbered in a bare knuckle prize fight. Look for nice performances by Robert Prosky as Nicole's father, Thomas Gibson as Tom's rival for Nicole and Colm Meaney as the Irish political boss in Boston.

Maybe the world needs a frontier to solve its problems.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant film!

10/10
Author: RDgirl from Brisbane, Australia
8 May 1999

Far and Away is definitely one of my favourite films. The acting and the scenery were both superb and I absolutely loved the story. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were both brilliant in their roles and the romance between Shannon and Joseph was very believable (most likely due to the fact that they were married anyway!). Nicole gave a superb performance as Shannon, the scenes in which she is acting the innocent, but rebellious and naive young girl were brilliant. And Tom was superb as the poor but ambitious Joseph. A truly brilliant film which deserves to be on the big screen, I hope to be able to see it at the cinemas one day!

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