A sheriff in a small Texas town on the border with Mexico returns to face his (and his father’s) past.
Oh, yes, this is an Otter Family Favorite. In fact, I would probably declare John Sayles, along with John Huston and maybe a few others, an Otter Family Favorite Director.
Gosh, this is a gem. Firstly, a wonderful cast: Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Serious Honey Matthew McConaughey (hard to believe he was ever so young, wow!), and the ever beautiful Elizabeth Peña.
And a wonderful script, written (as many of the movies he directs are) by Sayles: a small border town, racial tensions, small town politics, past happenings coming to light, danger, murder, mystery and a charming love story.
And (as is not often the case in these latter days of doom and tribulation, woe be unto moviemakers for creating bloated and boringly discursive crap) although the plot is intricate and there are many flashbacks, he doesn’t waste a frame. This is a beautiful piece of moviemaking, with good characterizations shown in brief scenes…the audience actually has to pay attention, because Sayles won’t tell you twice or beat you over the head with anything.
And the ending. I won’t say anything, I would hate to destroy anyone’s pleasure in the perfect ending…but it was WONDERFUL.
I would find it hard to believe that anyone missed this excellent movie, but if you did, you have a real treat coming, rent it and enjoy it. And watch it a couple of times, it keeps getting better.