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Archive for the ‘Melinda Dillon’ Category

Cowboy Up

16 Mar

Cowboy Up – Directed by Xavier Koller. Modern Western. Two bronco brothers bond and break up over romance and career conflicts. 105 minutes Color 2001

* * *

Acted and filmed so beautifully, it becomes obvious how badly written it is. The worst sort of conventional TV bunk, solid only in its colloquialisms. Everyone else deserves a hand. Melinda Dillon is just marvelous in keeping that mother from turning this into a weeper. She has one good line: when she is mad with her son and he comes down for breakfast and is off camera, she says, “Use a glass.” He was pouring milk into his mouth from the container. You watch Kiefer Sutherland say those lines and you have to admire his great craft in turning them into something possible, and not just the lines but the scenes themselves. Molly Ringwald is a strong actor in any part, and admiration follows her in any part because of her solidity of character and willingness to give it her all. Daryl Hannah is a little shaky as the travelling lady, true, but Pete Postlethwaite comes through in a brilliant single scene at the end as the long-lost father-from hell, in which his famous son tracks him down and the father does not know either that the son is famous or that he is his son. What you have here really is an inside story of bullriding, and it is inside because the camera rides right in there with it. From the opening sequences which are fascinating, to all the work at the arenas, it is marvelously filmed by Andrew Dintenfass. It takes you into a world. The bulls are monsters. Innocent monsters, but monsters. The boys that ride them are just innocent, if innocence can include a monstrous desire to make a name for oneself.

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