The Indian Runner (S. Penn, 1991)

The Indian Runner (Sean Penn, 1991)

Goodness, what a fantastic movie. Since finishing it, it’s really all I’ve been able to think about. First, and perhaps most importantly, Penn does a perfect job of defining a setting, bringing that setting to film, and encompassing everything about that setting in a completely realistic way. The setting itself is a character, and helps strengthen the human characters in the film, who were pretty much perfectly written and performed.

When I first saw that Viggo Mortensen and David Morse were supposed to play brothers, I had a chuckle as I can’t think of two people that look less alike. But by the film’s end, they had completely convinced me that they were brothers. Their characters are brutal, frustrating, heartbreaking, and genuine. There is sentimentality, but none of it is false. There is hope, but not without a lot of pain. This is one of those films that was an experience for me, and the best movie I’ve seen in a while. Lastly, I have to mention there are some incredible montages set to some great music, all of which makes for a fantastic poetic atmosphere. Strangely, as good as those moments are, they almost get lost in all of the other strengths of this film.  9.75/10


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