Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Dances With Wolves (1990)

Directed by Kevin Costner

Starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Author

Like Braveheart, a very well-made, cleanly told, self-directed time/place piece, with a fabulous, unified score. I don’t understand Casper’s claim that people can’t direct themselves. It seems that it is only then, when there is no communicative gap between director and actor, that perfection, if not disrupted by egotism, can exist. Costner and Gibson were both perfect their first times directing and starring themselves in the same film. Best Pictures for both.

Gets better as it goes on. Many magical moments. Lots of little metaphors (sign of a well-made movie). Nice contrast of subtle comedy, romance, action, suspense, and grossness. Horrifying dream sequence. Kind of a cool ending.

A couple of less cool shots, especially in the initial journey to the frontier, would have been better. There are dramatic times for those shots (many beautiful and well-timed were used quite effectively in this film), but they shouldn’t be used all the time. Began to approach the Star Wars staleness of perfect cinematography.

Great job by Costner. The understated Costner in his prime. He is good-looking, and looks extra cool with that beard and mustache. McDonnell and Smiles A Lot were awesome, too. Spivey was cool. Studi plays his usual hot-headed Indian character. The Indians shouldn’t have spoken such good English, it should have been more broken, especially when they were learning. Same deal as The Beast. Would this movie have been better without subtitles?

The story is told through journal/letters, like Glory. “Where there’s one, there’s sure to be another” comment from Planet of the Apes. Could have done without Spielberg’s corny shooting star. An Indian fucking in middle of night awakens the white houseguest, as in Black Robe.

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