I saw John Sayles’s Lone Star at the cinema when it came out in 1996 but time had rendered the details remote. Watching it again following a recent repeat on the BBC reminded me just what a great film it is – a remarkable work of understatement and subtle film-making. But much more than that it’s a marvellous study of fathers – of negligent fathers, of domineering fathers, of absent fathers and even of dead fathers – their stories and those of thier progeny interwoven in what, like Blood Simple could be described as a Western Noir – short on action but big on mystery and discovery. With stunning performances from Chris Cooper and a terrifying Kris Kristofferson (and a great cameo by Matthew McConaughey that’s based more on looks than words), and intelligent direction its a lesson in smart *and* gripping film-making.
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