Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Legends of the Fall (1994) - ★★★½

Director: Edward Zwick
Writers: Jim Harrison (Novella), Susan Shilliday, William D. Wittliff (Screenplay)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Julia Ormond, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas, Karina Lombard, Tantoo Cardinal

You know what is most memorable about Legends of the Fall? The sheer handsomeness of Brad Pitt. Oh, and the movie wasn't bad either! It's old Hollywood romance meets beautiful cinematography meets good old fashion tragedy. It works for the most part, but lapses at times when trying to keep our interest. It's a sad but enjoyable cheesy drama.

It's a grand tale of three brothers and their father set in the 1900s USA. Much drama unfurls as their lives are touched by war, nature, mental instability, and love. This is actually a really good story, with heaps of unpredictable and touching events occurring. I don't think Zwick executed it to its full potential however, leaving me with dry eyes and a little disappointment.

The acting was brilliant from each of the main actors, particularly Julia Ormond as the beautiful Susannah. For many reasons, I felt the most for her. Ormond inhabited this role, becoming the person she was playing. Her performance enhanced the story greatly for me. The same goes for Anthony Hopkins, who played the father. My goodness he was marvellous, especially towards the end of the film. He barely had to display emotion in order to portray the feelings of the character, which is something only masterful actors can do.

Brad Pitt gave a fine performance, but will only be remembered as being even sexier than Fabio "The Most Beautiful Man in the World." I think this is one of his better performances, showing that he has very good emotional range. However, it was Aidan Quinn who stole the show. He gave a more subtle, realistic portrayal of a man that was favoured least by his father and Susannah. I felt very, very sorry for his character. I think it's because of Quinn's eyes, which looked like an ocean of sadness at times.

The greatest thing about Legends of the Fall is the music... by far. James Horner composed some of the most beautiful scores I've ever heard in this film. It lifted my emotions to soaring heights every time it played. I'm smiling right now just thinking about it. The music is the only lasting impact this movie will have on me. Also, the cinematography was pretty amazing. It's shot in similar locations to Brokeback Mountain (2005). With perfect music and cinematography, this movie is a pleasure to see and hear.

Even though I enjoyed the movie, I can't deny that it isn't that great. I believe I should have felt more for the characters and even sadder at their tragedies. Some scenes were overly cliché, while others had the emotional range of a brick. With that in mind, there were masterful moments too. I think the good outweighs the bad in Legends of the Fall, which is why I give it a solid 3 and a half stars.

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