Michael T. Giovanniello of Burbank is a freelance writer.
I found “Open Range” to be a surprising and wonderful return to
the classic Western genre. It is a story for adults -- by adults --
told with mature sensibilities.
Kevin Costner masterfully directs and stars alongside a superb
cast, including Robert Duvall, Annette Bening and Michael Gambon,
with a fine screenplay by Craig Storper of the Lauran Paine novel,
“The Open Range Men.”
It focuses on the value of friendship, the power of conviction and
the scope of human integrity. The crisp and yet frugal dialogue is,
at times, poetic in its passion.
There are beautifully photographed images of immense landscapes,
endless skies plagued by torrential rains where mud and dust give way
to porcelain cups and flower gardens. It was a time when life was
simple, but hard. When justice was indiscriminate and deadly. A time
when men did what they knew to be right, and freedom depended on
While paying homage to films like “High Noon,” “Unforgiven” and
“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” it does so without becoming
sentimental or melodramatic. Its values are well-worn yet
contemporary; taking a stand against bullies and social mores,
grabbing life’s inevitable second chances and trusting in truth and
honesty are eternal values worth fighting for even today.
“Open Range” is rated R for violence.
* If you would like to give your opinion about a movie opening
soon, call entertainment editor Joyce Rudolph at 637-3241. You’ll be
reimbursed for the price of the ticket.