In early twentieth century Montana, Colonel William Ludlow (Sir Anthony Hopkins) lives in the wilderness with his sons, Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn), and Samuel (Henry Thomas). Eventually, the unconventional, but close-knit, family encounters tragedy when Samuel is killed in World War I. Tristan and Alfred survive their tours of duty, but, soon after they return home, both men fall for Samuel's gorgeous fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond), and their intense rivalry begins to destroy the family.Written by
A really good film. Basically a melodrama. Repeat, MELOdrama. Hollywood used to churn out this sort of film all the time with no apologies. OK, many of them seem corny now, but why do people think that every movie made has to be stark realism?
I was tremendously impressed with Brad Pitt's performance. (I'm a guy, so I mean that, and am not swooning over his looks). I had never seen him in anything before, and had barely heard of him. Anthony Hopkins was, as always, fantastic. In fact every single actor hit every single note with the possible exception of Henry Thomas. One of Aidan Quinn's best films, also. The photography of Alberta is magnificent, and I think no one can begrudge LOTF its cinematography Oscar.
The film makers have an excuse for the occasional credibility lapse, in that there is a story frame, the recollections of One Stab, the old Cree. This covers things like Susannah falling for Samuel, who seemed to be an empty suit, Tristan keeping his long hair while in the British Army, etc. Excellent performance by Gordon Tootoosis, by the way, although his manner of speaking is very reminiscent of Chief Dan George.
I highly recommend this film, if you can watch it without trying to dislike it.
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