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Legends of the Fall

Legends of the Fall ~ My Favorite Brad Pitt Movie

 

This review is from: Legends of the Fall

According to the ancient lore of Native Americans, there is a story
within each of us; the story of a life often guided by some inner
voice, which some hear with great clearness. Some live by what they
hear– and such people become crazy. They become legend. And so it was
destined to be for a young man named Tristan Ludlow, who was born
toward the end of the Nineteenth Century and grew up in the wide open
spaces of Montana, where his father, Colonel William Ludlow, had taken
his family to escape the imperfections of a society ruled by a
government he could no longer respect. “Legends of the Fall,” directed
by Edward Zwick, is the story of Tristan (Brad Pitt) and his brothers,
Alfred (Aidan Quinn) and Samuel (Henry Thomas); a tragic story of the
life they shared and the wounds they suffered, many of which were never
to heal. And it’s their father’s story, as well, for it was he who
raised his boys with only the help of his loyal friend, One Stab
(Gordon Tootoosis), after his wife, Isabel (Christina Pickles), unable
to withstand the harsh Montana winters, had left her family for the
more civilized East Coast, never to return.


Colonel Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) had served his country during the
Indian Wars, after which, disheartened by the government’s treatment of
those they had suppressed, the proud people of the Indian Nations, he
turned his back on the “civilized” ways of his own people and carved
out a niche for himself and his family in Montana. And it was there, on
their ranch, that the boys learned the ways of the West and the ways of
the Indian, under the tutelage of their father and One Stab. But of the
three, only Tristan eventually heard that inner voice with such clarity
that he could neither deny nor ignore it, and it awakened a passion
within him that he embraced, and which set him upon the path he was
seemingly destined to follow; a path that would ultimately affect the
lives of everyone he had ever loved.

By 1914, Europe was at war,
and the very tenets of truth and justice that had driven Colonel Ludlow
away from society now compelled his sons to take a stand according to
their own beliefs. Despite his recent engagement, Samuel decides to go
to Canada and enlist in the army in order to fight for England. Alfred
and Tristan refuse to let him go alone, and enlist with him. And in the
desolate, muddy trenches of France, they soon learn the harsh truth and
the reality of war– just as their father had before them– and by the
time the war has ended for them, their lives have changed forever;
Tristan’s most especially. Back home, Tristan tries to settle down to
life on the ranch, but the restlessness of his soul speaks to him of
things he must do and places he must go, and the voices are too strong
to resist. So despite the ties that bind him to the home and the people
he loves, he sets out on a journey of self-discovery that eventually
takes him, physically and emotionally, into places he never knew
existed– and away from the woman who loves him the most.


Director Edward Zwick delivers a sweeping saga of life and love with
this film that is every bit as big and grand as the country in which it
is set. He presents his story through the recollections of One Stab,
the one who saw it all unfold, first hand. And it gives the film a
narrative quality that is storytelling at it’s best. Zwick had a vision
of how to bring this tale to the screen, and he realized it
magnificently, aided by John Toll’s breathtakingly beautiful
cinematography (for which he received an Oscar), Lilly Kilvert’s superb
set designs and James Horner’s compelling, dramatic score. And most
importantly, through the tremendous performances of Hopkins, Pitt,
Quinn, Thomas and the lovely Julia Ormond.

Hopkins anchors the
film with a brilliantly understated performance, creating a
three-dimensional character who personifies the very iconoclastic
ideals and principles he espouses. And Pitt gives one of the best
performances of his career as Tristan; watching him, you feel that
restlessness and conflict raging within his soul, and you can sense his
passion as he seeks his direction in life. Quinn is also extremely
effective as Alfred, the older brother, delivering an emotional and
convincing performance, as does Julia Ormond, as Susannah, a young
woman conflicted inside as she tries to sort out her feelings for the
Ludlow brothers. Zwick knew exactly what he needed from his actors to
tell the story he wanted to tell, and he managed to get it all, from
the principals to the least of the supporting players; and it’s all
there on the screen– the passion, the intensity, the love and the
care. It’s quite simply a beautiful piece of filmmaking by all
concerned.

The supporting cast includes Karina Lombard (Isabel
Two), Paul Desmond (Decker), Tantoo Cardinal (Pet) and Robert Wisden
(John T. O’Banion). A visually stunning film that will touch you
emotionally and stay with you long after the screen has gone dark,
“Legends of the Fall,” perpetuates the tradition of classics like “The
Big Country” and “Giant.” Engaging and memorable, it’s a transporting
experience, courtesy of the magic of the movies



A passionate journey
into the darkest secrets of love, betrayal, and the unbreakable bonds
of blood, LEGENDS OF THE FALL is a powerful story about three brothers
struggling to stay together and the woman who comes between them.


“Legends of the Fall” is a family saga.

The
Ludlows are almost mythical Americans. They live a tough but free
existence in the North Country. Ruled by Colonel William Ludlow,
(Anthony Hopkins), a Father carved from granite, the family’s three
sons grow up to be almost as tough. And for a man who spent his last
professional years fighting for the rights of the native American’s, a
son who has absorbed native culture, along with the best of western
values, has to hold a special place in his heart.


Tristan
Ludlow, (Brad Pitt), is the focus of our attention from the start. His
wild and fearless spirit is guided by One Stab, the colonel’s loyal
Indian companion. It is One Stab that narrates Tristan’s story and from
him we learn that Tristan’s destiny is entwined with his animal spirit,
the Grizzly Bear. As a boy he dares an enormous sleeping grizzly and
they take some of each other’s blood. Interpreting his later choices
through the moods of the bear is a fascinating idea.


The pace
of events pick up the moment the youngest son, Samuel, brings home his
bride to be. The beautiful Susannah, (Julia Ormond), manages to steal
the hearts of all three brothers and the father as well, although he
has the wisdom to act correctly. Samuel arrives with more concern for
the growing war in Europe than for his new love. His desire to play his
part in the fight is opposed by the Colonel, jaded by the Government’s
past immoral acts. But nothing can stop a young man with a cause.
Despite his brother’s protection he manages to fulfill his destiny,
opening the door to further possibilities for his brothers, with
Susannah.


She manages to set the brothers against each other
and forces the eldest, Alfred, (Aidan Quinn), on a new path entirely;
one that takes him to the U.S. congress, supported by less than
honorable men. All of this makes for a heady brew, plenty of drama,
powerful performances and broken hearts.The film
wouldn’t have been the same without Isabel Two, played by both Karina
Lombard and Sekwan Auger. She waits patiently for her chance with
Tristan to come. She and One Stab, form the calm center to the
hurricane that is the Ludlow family. And like a hurricane, one you’ve
been touched, you’ll never forget “Legends of the Fall”.

One of my favorites of Brad Pitt’s Movies…. great story, casting and beautiful film locations.
I love this film…..

 

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2 responses

  1. ··¤ SETH

    Legends of the Fall was a good movie no doubt, could almost be considered a ‘chick flick’ to some degree. I remember watching this movie with a friend and I was actually thinking that I just might have to wipe the drool off the screen. :o)

    June 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

  2. connie

    I love the film.. one of my favorite of Brad Pitt’s movies. Great story.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:28 pm

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