Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

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Sydney Pollack directs Robert Redford, Will Geer and Delle Bolton in this true tale about a Western frontiersman who tries to live the life of a hermit until the army, relationships and the natives intrude. 

Fine when it is just Redford against the elements or warming to the makeshift family he acquires by accident. A near silent extravaganza of beautiful scenery and hunting skits for a long old ways. Once the revenge plot is introduced Pollack attempts to jazz up his solid direction, especially of the violence, so it becomes a mesmerising kaleidoscope. I’m not entirely sure that works. Also noteworthy is the film has a symmetry, with character and locations from the first half reappearing in reverse order in the second. Evidence of the smart tricks at play. Not sure the tricks are of any true value though. Watch The Revenant instead if you want superior pretty boys in harsh nature yucks.

5

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