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Some thirty years after Arlis witnesses his father murdering a family, he runs into Kay, who happens to be the family's baby who was spared. Kay and Arlis suspect nothing about each other, but when his father returns, old wounds are reopened. Written by
"Flesh and Bone," an artistically told story in the Texas Outback, gives us a cultural peek at ways of life we would probably not encounter otherwise...
"Flesh and Bone," with it's superb actors and superb portrayals of an artistically told story in the Texas Outback, gives us a cultural peek at ways of life we would probably not encounter otherwise while solving a crime mystery and telling a cowboy's love story.
Haunted by his childhood, Arlis, so realistically portrayed by Dennis Quaid, reveals to us what being a cowboy is about. Running his business across West Texas with his memories, his devil on his heels, Arlis' triumphs and beats genetics. His double star-crossed love for the same child and woman unfolds as the story is told and he becomes a lonesome hero worthy of his lone star.
Gwyneth Paltrow's acting talents can be seen as she makes you believe she is Ginnie, a waifish con seemingly devoid of any feelings other than perhaps borderline necrophilia and spiteful nastiness.
James Caan, as Roy, is Arlis' cruel father and Ginnie's old-enough-to-be-her-grandfather lover. Caan plays the the villain of both the past and the present with a calculated coldness that literally makes his eyes sparkle. (Watch for it!) Roy will make you ever thankful for the your own father who raised you, and your respect for and understanding of his son Roy grows with the movie.
Meg Ryan makes us want to embrace Kay, the drunken but lovely cake dancer caught in an abusive marriage but who falls in love with cowboy Arlis. Ryan works her magic portraying Kay as a gentle, sometimes-intelligent, sometimes-naive soul who has been down on her luck since a fateful night before her first birthday but who still manages to smile at the world and believe in hope.
Caan's and Paltrow's characters, people who we pray we never meet, come off with a game playing realness that makes us remember why we lock our doors in our motel rooms and our homes. This uneasiness is balanced by the empathy we have for Ryan's and Quaid's good to the bone characters.
Never has a cowboy's love been better explained than in Dennis Quaid's face in the final moments of the film.
Four four-star performances by four top actor, this overlooked movie will become a classic someday in the near future.
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