Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hell or High Water - 4 nominations

Best Picture - Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn
Actor in a Supporting Role - Jeff Bridges
Film Editing - Jake Roberts
Original Screenplay - Taylor Sheridan

Hell or High Water brings back the heist movie genre in the sweetest and most touching way.  Every character is engaging, and there is no mystery about why the brilliant Jeff Bridges received a nomination. The story follows two pairs - the Howard brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who are robbing banks of small amounts of money, and Marcus Hamilton and Gil Birmingham (Bridges and Alberto Parker), the law enforcement pair chasing them.  The key insight from Hamilton, the Texas ranger, is that the brothers will continue to rob banks until they reach a certain amount of money. This clue convinces the curmudgeonly but smart ranger that there is a reason belying the robberies, and that the brothers aren't just on a spree for the fun of it.  As bank robberies always do, plenty goes wrong as the film progresses, and some people pay too high a cost for the stealing and for the desire to secure the outlaws' capture.

The relationships in this film are everything.  I can't remember crying in a heist film, or at least not in my recent memory.  Every character is so earnest and in many ways, pure of heart, that you can't help but find them endearing - bad guys and good guys alike.  Sometimes, it's not clear who the bad guys and who the good guys are.  I have often said that I'm tired of being manipulated into cheering for the bad guys in a film, but this is one of those times when it's hard to see any single character as any one thing, and that makes Hell or High Water so much more like real life.

I have yet to find a single person who has seen the film who hasn't enjoyed Hell or High Water.  I think you'll like it too.

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