In 19th-century New Mexico, a father (Tommy Lee Jones) comes back home, hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie (Cate Blanchett). Maggie's daughter is kidnapped, forcing father and estranged daughter to work together to get her back. Written by
A slice of TRUE western history, finally brought to life...
As a 'local' Arizona long-time US southwestern resident and historian, I have to bite my lip occasionally at many of the ridiculous reviews for this excellent Ron Howard film.
It's so easy to spot the ignorant
For all their emotion about this film, most reviewers' clichés, inaccurate statements, mistaken references, mis-understood, mis-referenced or mis-opted views of 'Western movies' (let alone, southwestern history, and general mis-direction of history en toto), grossly reveal the puerile, Hollywood brain-damage
Pity they could have learned a lot if they only KNEW. Not only is Ron Howard's effort well-directed, it's very historically accurate. Point-in-fact: his acting crew, notably Tommy Lee Jones, had to learn whole sentences/paragraphs in the Apache-ne-Athe(p/b)ascan derivative language (as well as their meanings), in not just short, 'indian' phrases as in most 'Western-style' films, but to those which accurately depict the spoken word of the time. None less than Elbys Huger, Berle Kanseah and Scott Rushforth did Howard employ as linguist-teachers for the actors for accuracy (please, do your research). In addition, western settlers at that time on the southern borders of New Mexico and Arizona were vilely subjected to early forms of terrorism in the southwest including what you see on-screen. Those bands of Mescalero/Chiricahua natives were normally (though not totally) averse to kidnapping young, white females of European descent for slave-trading from western settlers (as well, married adult females). However, and in particular addition, rituals of northern-Sonoran Indians Yaqui (there were other tribes) vastly apart from Cochise's band of Chiricahua Apaches, were especially ruthless against 'whites', employing those very diatribes Eric Schwieg (aka, 'el brujo', 'Pesh Chidin') perpetrated against western immigrants. And, BTW, Schwieg was absolutely SUPERIOR in the role the man surely deserved not only credibility, but Oscar consideration he is that good; if you knew only a sliver of southwestern history, you'd know his portrayal is not only authentic, but well-portrayed (eastern-USers, Canadians, take note you've no conscience of southwestern US history unless you've studied/lived it mark my word, Pilgrim).
Re/ The Entertainment value: - TLJones: always a distinct pleasure, thank you Thomas extraordinarily well-done, and one of your very best efforts applauses; how-went the linguistics for the film? - Ms. Cate Blanchett: as well, extraordinary effort; you are, still, a gem-in-the making, and exceptionally well-suited for the part truly, WELL DONE you exemplified the character. Where did you learn about the southwest of the US??) - Jay Tavare: your portrayal of 'Kayitah' was exemplary and believable. Nice going! You have more Hollywood parts in your future stay with it. - Steve Reevis: "Two Stone" you should have been cast earlier in larger roles. Enjoyed you in 'Last of the Dogmen' - Even, Jenna: stay with it - in a few years you may think about changing your mind maybe even now; you both have the energy how badly do you want it??
9.5/10 -- believe it; or buy a history book and educate yourself about the REAL southwestern US
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