19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Clint Eastwood delivers a masterpiece,
This review is from: Unforgiven (Snap Case) (DVD)
This film won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman) and Best Editing. Garnering three of the "major" awards is impressive and they are what make the film a memorable and enjoyable experience. Eastwood the director is in top form. He has always displayed a steady hand in directing his stories and actors and he doesn't disappoint here. Nothing flashy but it is his understated direction that leads this film to it's climax. In less capable hands, a director may be apt to moralize or preach. Eastwood capably lets the story (overlooked as an original screenplay) tell itself. His turn as the lead character -- William Munny -- is also an underplayed, nuanced part. I think it is one of his best acting jobs. He carries a grim outlook and those set, steely eyes convey all of the emotions the character feels. In a movie with so much else that is good, his performance is not to be ignored. Gene Hackman is outstanding in his portrayal of Little Bill Daggett, the sheriff of Big Whiskey, WY. His performance is both blustery and low-keyed. It is a credit to Hackman to know how to pull if off effortlessly. The movie itself is the real star. It plays on so many levels and gives a lot of shades of gray that really blow off the Westerns of old. There is no good guy in the white hat. In fact, there is little good to be found in the movie. Most of the men and women are scoundrels or people of ill-repute. However the general theme of reality that Eastwood conveys is what you will have to look for. Things aren't what they seem and this "anti-Western" shrugs off the myths of the Old West.