Posts from 13th June 2006

13
Jun 06

Bob Mitchum for the noughties

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While watching the first half of Down In The Valley, I remembered a couple of reviews saying how much Edward Norton reminded them of Robert Mitchum in this film. I was surprised, and then impressed by their perspicacity, as it is neither resemblance or deliberate. There is just a nervous laziness about the performance, laid back but on point.

And then this terrific film goes from Romeo & Juliet alternate into Night Of The Hunter territory and the cleverness of the critics goes away. What does not go away is how much this little film twists and turns with the idea of its own mythologies (children’s views of truth, abuse, Westerns, heroism) and leaves us with an impression of much deeper characterization than is necessarily on the screen. Its got horses, its got shoot-outs, its got kidnapping and its got romance. Small, imperfectly formed and all the better for that.