I just bought this movie on DVD and watched it for the first time in a couple of years, and once again it amazed me. While most scripts stumble recklessly from one hackneyed plot device to another, "Lone Star" flows like a steady, winding river, never letting the viewer see too far downstream. The spine of the film is Sherrif Sam Deed's investigation into a thirty-year-old murder, yet this story is quickly absorbed by many finely scripted subplots and an overall theme on the futility of trying to escape history. While most directors can't help but show off when using flashy camera movement and jumps in continuity, Sayles employs such a subtle directing style that his leaps in time and location are seamless. Sayles fleshes out his script with subplots on racism, national pride, censorship, generation gaps, politics, social revisionism, and on and on. Most directors don't tackle this many topics in a career, yet Sayles juggles them all in one film without jamming them down the audiences' throats. If the subplots in Sayles' "City of Hope" were connected like a series of dominos, here they are gently woven together like a colorful, well-worn Southwestern quilt. The love story between Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Pena is both wistful and steamy. The film's social conscience is compelling. The father/son conflict between Otis and Delmore Payne (Ron Canada and Joe Morton) feels totally realistic. The dialoge is concise and insightful. Fate hangs over every character and every moment. Plus "Lone Star" has one of my favorite "final scenes", one that perfectly sums up the ironies of the film. It is simply one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Drama / Mystery
Drama / Mystery
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.
January 13, 2020