A River Runs Through It

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A River Runs Through It (1992)

Directed by Robert Redford

Based on the novel A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean

Screenplay by Richard Friedenberg

Starring: Brad Pitt, Craig Sheffer, Tom Skerritt, Emily Lloyd, Brenda Blethyn

The two sons (Pitt, Sheffer) of a Presbyterian minister (Skerritt) learn about life while fly fishing on the rivers of Montana.

This film is an adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, written by Norman Maclean (The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky). The film was adapted for the big screen by Richard Friedenberg (Dying Young). The cast includes Craig Sheffer (Code of Honor), Brad Pitt (The Big Short), Tom Skerritt (The Other Sister), Emily Lloyd (In Country), and Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice).

This is a story that mixes sentimentality and honesty in equal parts. Instead of becoming a love letter to the past, the writing does a nice job in balancing youthful memories with reality. The writing does a nice job building a good foundation with a look into the early years in the lives of the main characters. This creates the dynamic that really colors the decisions and the personalities of the characters later in the film. The dialogue is somewhat poetic, but doesn’t ever feel out of place in the story. The story also finds the right moments to highlight the relationships between all of the different characters. Richard Friedenberg did a wonderful job bringing this excellent novel to the screen. For his work, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The casting for this film is great. Craig Sheffer does a great job playing the central figure in the film. His performance, much like his character, feels like the basis for all of the other actors to work from. He also has great chemistry with all of the stars in this one. Brad Pitt does a great job as well. He handled his role with all of the energy it deserved, both physically and emotionally. Tom Skerritt, Emily Lloyd, and Brenda Blethyn also do good work with this one. Overall, the relationships in the story feel genuine due to the quality of the performances.

The cinematography really elevates this movie by capturing the natural beauty of Montana. The camera work even earned Phillippe Rousselot (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) an Oscar for Best Cinematography. The film also found great locations to shoot in, with most of the filming done in central Montana. The movie also benefits from a score composed by Mark Isham (October Sky). He was nominated for Best Original Score for his work on this one.

This movie is a favorite of mine and a great story about life. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of the stars. I would also suggest this to anyone looking for a thoughtful film that focuses on relationships. I give this one 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG

Running Time: 123 Minutes

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