From the Director of Gandhi and the Executive Producer of Dances With Wolves and A River Runs Through It, comes the remarkable true story of a 1930s frontier trapper who adopted the ways of the wild and found love among its people. After discovering a world slowly threatened by extinction in the woods of the great north, one man's passion led him to fight for the protection of the land he loved. Pierce Brosnan stars as Archie Grey Owl in this epic adventure about a man who had the courage to defend and lead his people in war and victory, and the strength to become their voice to the world.
Richard Attenborough's passion weighs so heavily on every frame of Grey Owl
, the true story of a pioneering conservationist in the Canadian wilderness, that it tends to smother the characters. Pierce Brosnan is stiff, deliberate and terse as Archie Grey Owl, a part Scotch Native American adopted and raised by a Canadian Ojibwa tribe. He gets by as a trapper, hunting guide, and sometime writer, but becomes an internationally revered activist in the 1930s when he publishes a book on the vanishing wilderness. Annie Galipeau is the native Canadian woman who sees through his tough hide and secretive quiet: "Yeah, I know. You're a loner. You have to live in the wilderness. I hear it everyday." But she doesn't pierce his most zealously guarded secret, a distracting subplot that most of the audience figures out in no time. Attenborough's hushed reverence for Archie's dream slows an already lugubrious drama, and Brosnan all too often comes off as a walking cliché, his flat speech and long, slow stares a Brit's idea of a movie Indian. The real star of the film is the magnificent Canadian wilderness: carpets of forests, clear crystal lakes, and vast blue skies. There's no doubting Attenborough's good intentions, and his love for the wilderness is felt in every gorgeous frame, but somewhere in the forest he loses track of his story. --Sean Axmaker