Sunday, October 12, 2008

Applause for APPALOOSA

Listen up, Oscar voters! It’s not too early to take a look at two brilliant performances in Appaloosa, a new film directed by Ed Harris, who also co-stars. In this compelling Western, Harris and Viggo Mortensen simply transform themselves into a pair of lawmen-for-hire plying their dangerous trade in 1882 New Mexico. Here’s how film critic Frank Wilkins describes them in his review for

Virgil Cole (Harris) and his deputy partner Everett Hitch (Mortensen) are two tough guys who've been riding together for so long they don't have to speak to one another to communicate. They're as devoted to each other as on old married couple, and in fact, have quite an entertaining way of finishing each other's sentences. When forced into a gunfight, each knows exactly what the other will do. There's an unspoken understanding between them that can't be faked for the screen by actors who don't have a natural rapport. Harris and Mortensen feel real together, and because of this, the film works in a big way. Plus, they both just look flat-out cool playing leather-clad, hair-slickered, gun-toting badasses on horseback. They're made for their parts.

I agree wholeheartedly with Frank. In fact, I think Harris and Mortensen definitely deserve Academy Award nominations for their fine work in this excellent screen adaptation of Robert B. Parker’s novel.

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