Underrated And Misunderstood
Daufhin Thorndike | New York , NY | 08/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film has been called such things as "boring", "overly pretencious", and "badly acted". I have never understood those labels as applied to this film, and i think they are due mostly to people who view this with a modern- day film mentality and altogether unreal expectations. I am a lifelong film buff- so i know good acting/ bad acting when I see it. The performances here serve the story well. There is really no opportunity in the script for actors to stretch themselves, so i think the criticisms with the acting are by and large a result of that. The characters are all played realistically and quite well in the confines of each character. The Yosemite cinematography is spectacular- as everyone points out, but one of the overlooked aspects is just how wonderful this film captures that period of time right as WW2 is coming to a close. The mood, the settings, and the details are all just right, and that adds alot of romanticism to the story. I liked the subtle soundtrack as well, and the hushed tone to the entire movie that makes me always feel extremely nostalgic everytime I've seen it. I think the story is interesting, especially if you are a train buff like I am, and I thought the lead actor Peter Alexander was very convincing in his role. His endeavor was naive, yes, but noble at the same time, and despite the end result I can appreciate his effort to save the train line. Michael Stipe plays his friend/ employee and is very good as well. I liked the underlying sexual tension between the two characters, and Stipe's not so subtle passes at his employer, and the shame he ultimately feels by his own feelings and the ultimate rejection he faces. Also, there is a strong hint of some incestual goings on between the main character Lee and his sister in here, but those are only hinted at and never confirmed or denied. Overall, there is alot going on in this movie, and most of it is subtle. If you have the patience and the mental capacity this is a great film that can be very rewarding if you give it the chance. Hopefully, many more people will in the future."