140 of 141 people found the following review helpful
One of my all-time favorites!,
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This review is from: Local Hero (DVD)
I am dating myself woefully, but I remember seeing this film when it came out in theatres. I trekked some distance (via bus) down to some theatre in Hollywood (I'm from another part of L.A.) because it wasn't showing anywhere nearby. I wanted to see it *that* bad. And I certainly wasn't disappointed.
When I finally got a DVD player, one of the first DVDs I got was "Local Hero". It's definitely on my "must-have" list.
The story is simple -- materialistic Peter Reigert is sent to a small Scottish village to try to negotiate a land deal for his rich, eccentric boss (Burt Lancaster, who is outstanding). He arrives in Scotland as a guy who is only obsessed with business deals, his car, and his posessions back in Texas, but soon he learns there are more important things in life. The townsfolk are absolutely wonderful, all in their own unique, eclectic way. Denis Lawson particularly shines as "jack of all trades" who holds several positions in the community, including innkeeper.
The oddness and beauty of this film takes time to unfold, and it is best just to sit back and watch it happen. Everyone seems to have a story, everyone is eccentric in some way. I especially loved Burt Lancaster and his interaction with his "therapist", who takes the job *far* too seriously. Lancaster plays one of the most likeable and unique characters onscreen. Reigert too, is endearing. He so wants to be "normal" that he can't even admit that he might use a shampoo for dry or greasy hair. "Normal. EXTRA normal.", he says, when asked what kind of shampoo he needs. What an uptight guy he seems at first, but he soon mends his ways.
The score by Mark Knopfler is among one of my favorites too. I can play it and it brings back the whole atmosphere and mood of this film. The musical piece played at the end of the movie is heart-wrenching and brings back the sweetness of the end of this fine movie every time I hear it.
Director Bill Forsythe created an absolute gem in this movie. A must-have in *every* film collection. Absolutely first-rate.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 29, 2008 2:45:18 PM PST
Robert H. Bauge says:
Got the picture great insight from this review
Posted on Jun 29, 2008 10:11:41 PM PDT
Mark Blackburn says:
Still the best review written for this great movie -- deservedly in the spotlight with "60 out of 60 helpful" votes. (Don't you love it when Amazon.com does that?) Left you another "helpful" -- hope it shows up! Keep writing the fine reviews!
Posted on Sep 1, 2010 12:00:31 PM PDT
Far Lefkas says:
There is no ending to a movie like the ending to Local Hero: the Houston night skyline, the funny ringing phonebox, & that searing guitar. If you want people @your next reunion, tell 'em you've hired a band that plays "Going Home."
Posted on Sep 17, 2011 7:48:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2011 7:02:53 AM PDT
B. Tweed DeLions says:
Good review. They don't often make movies like this anymore. Understatement is not exactly Hollywood's strong suit, and this movie is a masterpiece of understatement. Someone who doesn't "get" this movie would probably describe it as being boring and slow-moving, as having no plot and no action, a story with no point where nothing ever happens.
But I would describe it as subtle---subtle plot and subtle humor. It's an odd, quirky, scenic, peaceful, fun, and humorous movie that scores all its points through understatement. Anyone who loves dry and understated humor will love this movie. And most of all it has a heart. But even its heart is understated. It's definitely a feel-good movie, but that is understated as well. And I mean all of this in a good way.
Overstatement to the point of sensationalism, perhaps best described as *sensory bombardment*, seems the order of the day in contemporary filmmaking, like someone reading a story to you through a bullhorn an inch from your ear. I'm beginning to think that filmgoing audiences have lost the ability to notice anything unless that's not obvious, or flashed in 8-foot tall neon letters. This movie is the antithesis of that kind of movie. So I advise anyone who doesn't have the ability to appreciate that kind of movie to watch this one until they develop it.
If they try but never truly get it, then I feel sorry for them. But if they do get it, then they will have regained something important that contemporary society seems hellbent to lose completely. And if that day ever comes, I'd prefer to move to another star.
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