Hell or High Water

Surprised to see this movie getting nominated for Best Picture; I'd heard about it over the summer with a somewhat tepid "yeah go see it" kind of a review.  After the nomination, combined with the endearing Jeff Bridges in the cast, I decided to head out to see it--in a second run theater where it is STILL playing after an early August release date!

The movie is filmed in New Mexico and the director, David Mackenzie, sets up a lot of scenic and well composed shots.  A very pretty movie--worth seeing just for the scenery.

Also I really, really like the bank robbers, Chris Pine and Ben Foster (this review implies that you've heard at least a little bit about the movie so I'm not going to go too much into the plot).  Chris Pine-- zomg, SO, SO cute.  His $500 haircut did take me out of the movie for a bit, seemed a little inconceivable that he'd be some Texan ne'er do well, but.  And just gonna say it, the cast IS 50% Jewish (Pine and Foster).  But then that's to be expected.  Actually a higher percentage is generally the norm.

The THEME of this movie did become a little heavy handed and preachy.  Could have done without the "this is a western movie with a political message" aspect.  Essentially the message is this: the banks, even though behaving lawfully, are fundamentally evil, and the criminals--stealing in order to keep their land (prevent foreclosure) and so take care of their children--fundamentally good.  A real right/wrong vs good/evil theme going on here.  Rather than feel like an escape, the heavy handed theme brought me very much into the current reality.

Overall, however, it's a really good movie.  I'd see it twice.  The director sounds pretty interesting--he's directed nine movies, none of which fall into the same genre.  From Scotland.  Very eclectic sensibilities.

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