Best Picture Reviews: Dances With Wolves

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After being pretty impressed with the 1980’s overall, it’s time to move on to the 1990s, and I must say I’m looking forward to this decade. But it’s not getting off to a particularly good start.

Let me just say, I enjoy a lot about this movie. I like the screenplay and a good chunk of the dialogue. I feel that the film is making a lot of interesting points, the cinematography is good, it has some pretty impressive editing, and a good score. I like the films portrayal of Indians vs White Men which comes across as pretty realistic and not too offensive. Yes, it seems like everybody is trying really hard to make this movie the best that it can be.

That is, except for one person. Kevin. Costner. Now, I’m not saying his direction is bad, it’s actually okay at points. But the acting… oh my God, the acting.. The emotion on his face in every moment is the equivalent of the emotion that’ll be on the audience’s face every moment he’s onscreen – pure boredom. It wouldn’t be so bad, except the movie is filled with narration, and I swear Dr. Manhattan could have put more emotion into those voice-overs.

And what makes it so horrible is that this is a character with SO MUCH POTENTIAL. This is the kind of role that actors dream of playing. The plot of the movie did kind of remind me of Lawrence Of Arabia, but if this movie had an actor even half as talented as Peter O’Toole, it could have been saved. A ton of actors could have given oscar-worthy performances if they pulled this character off. But as it stands, Costner gives a Razzie worthy performance.

Costner is so bad, everybody in the cast, even the animals, come off as much better actors than him. But the one person who stands out is Mary MacDonnell. She steals the show and is the only person in the cast who should have been nominated.

It’s crazy, It’s like everyone was trying except Costner. But he’s the one person who should have tried the hardest. It makes one wonder how the director of the movie appears to have no emotion towards what his character should be fighting for. Especially when everyone around him cares so much.

***1/2

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