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Open Range is a Western film that stars Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and Annette Bening. The narrative centers on Boss Spearman, an aging rancher, and Charley Waite, a former gunslinger, who have been allowing their cattle to graze freely on the open range for ten years. However, their peaceful existence is disrupted when their cook is brutally assaulted and apprehended by a corrupt sheriff. This event prompts a clash with the authoritarian rancher, Denton Baxter.
Kevin Costner, who both directs and acts in the movie, proves his mastery in the Western genre, as previously seen in Dances with Wolves. Open Range is a beautifully crafted and well-acted example of the genre, with occasional lapses into cliché. The film is set in an interesting period of frontier history, where traditional free-ranging cattlemen and their herds were harassed and attacked by settled ranchers.
Costner’s focus on the subtle relationships between the main characters adds depth to the film. His portrayal of Charley Waite, a man haunted by Civil War memories, is impressive, and Diego Luna and Abraham Benrubi’s performances are spot on. However, it is Robert Duvall’s restrained and dignified performance as Boss Spearman, the gruff father figure to the travelling cowpokes, that steals the show.
The film is gorgeously shot, with robust writing and solid sentimentality, making it a delightful watch for those who appreciate traditional Westerns.
Tune in to watch Open Range this Sunday, the 7th of May, on Channel 5 at 17:10 CET.
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