I saw James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma and I think it is brilliant. It’s being said it’s the best western since Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (have there been others?). I think it will be a well-deserved award contender for the writing, directing, and oh, the acting. Everyone’s talking about Russell Crowe as Ben Wade the thief and robber, and Christian Bale as Dan Evans, the rancher-turned prisoner guard, but Ben Foster as Charlie, Wade’s amoral second-in-command of the band of thieves and marauders, is exceptional. The story is based on Elmore Leonard’s short story and knowing this makes the characters play with immorality and mercy so subtle (remember Get Shorty?). It’s a nod to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it’s smart, touching, entertaining. I don’t like guns and violence, or too many CSI shots, and the film has enough of this, but still. It’s terrific. Waiting for someone to do a piece on the film’s theology….
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