DIRECTOR: MICHAEL CATON-JONES
COUNTRY: ENGLAND 1995
CINEMATOGRAPHY: KARL WALTER LINDENLAUB
MUSIC: CARTER BURWELL
CAST: Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz, Brian Cox, Andrew Keir
SUPER FEATURES: Story.
This is a much better film than most people expect. And unlike many films that show a lot of class, this film also adds a tremendous showcase of acting, that is exceptional. One need only watch Tim Roth, in an exceptional performance as the bad guy in this film, to recognize that indeed this is an Oscar level performance, and extremely well deserving of its nomination. Winning it will depend on the amount of favoritism for home town actors.
ROB ROY is the story of an Irish man, who became a folk hero and leader of a large group of Irish people, with whom various kings had some problems. And as is usually the case, there were many instances where there are political interests that interfere with the people's plans, if not the king's. In this case, one of the king's best men, has become a bit of an enemy, and spends the whole film chasing, and finally getting a chance to meet his nemesis.
In between, we get all the intrigues that make this story worth while, and special. Rob Roy's wife gets raped, and most of his village gets destroyed. But in the long run the honest prevail in this tale between good ad evil, and whose side is the right one, the law, or the people.
This is a very well directed film, at least it is done with much care and attention to detail, and while the main character, played by Liam Neeson, does not display much of the definition and attention to detail that all others do, he at least tries to hold his own. A lot of it may just be a struggle with the dialect, but all in all he does alright.... it might have been easier to have cast someone local, with a better handle on the language to get a stronger film. But Liam is not bad, although one gets the feeling that he is struggling with his lines at times. By comparison, the work of Tim Roth as the villain, and John Hurt as the king, are much smoother and well done.
In many ways this is the way Hollywood likes it. A good looking man to attract the ladies, and the rest a cast of magnificent loons that can hold just about any script they are given. Tim Roth's work, is just way above and beyond all others, and stands out as the single element that moves this film as far as it does, and creates a more powerful conclusion to the epic.
With some magnificent cinematography, displaying the virgin country sides, this is a very pretty film to see, although it has its moments where the violence is a bit too strong. But, the director keeps these moments to the minimum.
Excellent film all around. Worth seeing. Well directed.
One word.... Tim Roth.
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