Basically there are four movies here, with fully formed stories from the Old Country, the Wild West, the camp itself and the parents back home. All are interwoven brilliantly to tell a single tale about making peace with your past and getting on with life as it comes. It's a bit frivolous perhaps, but so much fun you won't mind at all, peppered with deliciously comic performances from Weaver, Nelson and especially Voight, who's hilarious from the top of his astonishing hat-hair to the toes of his grubby cowboy boots. One surprisingly moving story strand involves Arquette's schoolmarm who has a tender interracial romance with an onion salesman (Hill) before turning into a rough-riding outlaw. Meanwhile, the teens are superb, generating a Stand by Me level of camaraderie that's completely infectious, adding layers of emotion to the story that you never see coming. This is sharp, witty filmmaking, from Sachar's witty script to Davis' expansive and inventive direction, superbly balancing the drama, humour and tension and never losing the pace amid the flood of cross-cuts and flashbacks. There are so many delightful little touches and warped bits of storytelling that I can't imagine anyone who won't love this film.
dir Andrew Davis|
scr Louis Sachar
with Shia LaBeouf, Khleo Thomas, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Brenden Jefferson, Max Kasch, Henry Winkler, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Dule Hill, Eartha Kitt, Scott Plank, Damien Luvara, Roma Maffia, Rick Fox
release US 18.Apr.03; UK 24.Oct.03
Dig in! LaBeouf and Thomas may have uncovered something.
|Frankie Num, Argentina: "I think this movie was really cool, and i really liked all the boys, especially Khleo Thomas. He's gorgeous!" (10.Jan.04)|