Movie Diary 3/7/2018

Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992). Well, there’s a good reason this is remembered as one of the better Best Picture Oscar winners. Eastwood conveys a strong sense of the film’s place in the mythology of the west, some of that contained through pure imagery – the early scene when Will Munny looks out at the horizon and sees the Schofield kid as a tiny image on the horizon, riding away, and you get that sense that Munny’s going to join him not so much for the money or the justice but for the need to be out there riding on the edge of the land.

Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017). An Australian Western, about an ill-treated aboriginal man (Hamilton Morris) on the run with his wife after a fatal encounter among the “whitefellas.” Very solid supporting work from Sam Neill and Bryan Brown, lending their iconic status in Down Under cinema, and lyrical moments combined with stunning landscapes. An intense movie – you feel it always knows exactly what it’s doing, even if there are no great surprises – and while it’s no Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, it achieves its purpose.