A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
DIRECTOR: ROBERT REDFORD
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Phillippe Rousselot
MUSIC: Mark Isham
CAST: Craig Sheffer (Norm), Brad Pitt (Paul), Tom Skerritt (Father), Brenda Blethyns (Mother). Emily Lloyd (Jessie)
ONE WORD: The scenery, and the care with which it was done.
One used to think of Robert Redford as just another pretty face in the film world that could help a few studio heads make some money. It's hard to argue with the pretty face, if he directs this well. It's really nice to know that there is talent beneath the skin, and that it is used up in ways that can not always be appreciated, but at least, are being seen and shown.
A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, is similar, to my eyes and ears, to another film I just saw (Bertolucci's The Sheltering Sky), in that it stays with its hypnotic world. It refuses to leave. There are hints of a life outside of this area cut with a river, but in all reality the film never really leaves the space, and creates a fantasy, and a nostalgic feeling for the area that is hard to beat, and really difficult not to appreciate, for its inherent natural beauty.
And I suppose that the same could be said about the way that the director went about doing what he felt that he needed to do. Tell the story, in the same style that the country side gets to our attentions.
The story is simple, two kids growing up, the sons of a very religious father, and helpful mother. However, their ways differ and they separate for a few years while one goes to college. When they come together again a few years later, they have changed. The place is the same. The people are the same. Paul is still the same wild one. Norm has only changed in that he has learned to think, but has lost the childish wildness that the other brother still has.
With an exceptional acting work between the main characters and a very special look at them through a camera lens that looks at things like another tree would, this well thought out, but sad film, plods along. Most of its twists and turns get thrown at us much like the atmosphere in those areas, specially when one hunts or fishes. Everything springs right out at you, unexpectedly, and adds to the film.
But it is hard to dismiss the philosophical son, as he looks back at the days when they all shared some fishing, which are the golden moments of the film.
This maybe a slow film, but it should be enjoyed and appreciated for what it does very well.
Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer are both very good as the brothers. Tom Skerritt is excellent as the village priest, and the father of the two boys.
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