Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

An early dialoque in this movie involves a couple who move from Cinncinati to a Texas Mexican Border. They are asked, "What kind of work takes you so far from home?" "Border Patrol. Everywhere is far from home."

Home is a big theme in this film. People bored with their home, leaving their home for a new home, people sneaking across borders to make a new home...loneliness, boredom, abandonment, a blind man who fumbles in his home, cowboys and Mexicans whose homes are so raw and open we see classic cowboy suffering and compassion...and eventually a fantasy home. It must be built because if it isn't there will be loss of hope and closure.

No one seems to like their work except the cowboys who dis their ranch owner boss because he doesn't actually work on his bestowed land. In many ways this appears to be a serious brooding film. It is much more well rounded than its first impression. This is Weekend at Bernies meets Lone Star meets Crash meets Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia. I was sometimes feeling tense sometimes gaffawing.

Dwight Yoakam and Levon Helm rock in their supporting roles. Tommy Lee Jones is as amazing as ever. I love Barry Pepper(Canadian!) and will see any movie he is in. The man who makes everybody work, and has the last laugh in this tale of the making of a beautiful friendship is wonderful and I love him, Julio Cesar Cedillo, who I have been a big fan of since BOTTLEROCKET! and the odd movie The Life of David Gale. He is gonna be so cool to watch in the next few years.

In some ways the feeling of this movie began like a psychological suspense because we want to know what people are thinking about while they are taking action...but it surprises as we get to see the characters learn about each other and a new idea of home becomes the redemption.

Another surprise, I sure wasn't expecting an allusion to scalping, but lordy lordy, there it was.

It would make Sam and John and Sergio darn proud.


mister anchovy said...

Levon Helm? What's a down-home drummer from Arkansas doing acting in a movie?

Candy Minx said...

I wrote about this movie for you Mr.A You will love it.

Um, Levon Helm has a bit of a movie carreer. The acting bug must have hit him after hanging out with Marty for The Last Waltz. He has been in a few movies including Coal Miner's Daughter, The Right Stuff and Feeling Minnesota. Stick with me sportsfans, we'll make y'all film buffs yet!

mister anchovy said...

I love Levon Helm's singing. I think it is what gave The Band character (+ their association with Weird Bob)

Candy Minx said...

Yeah, both true. He is very good in 3 Burials, didn't remember it was him!

Red said...

Thank you for directing us to this review, Candy. I see it is dated March 2006, waaaaaay before I started hanging around blogs!

I don't remembre Julio Cesar Cedillo in Bottlerocket, but I have that film on DVD and I must watch it again -- I love it anyway, so iit won't be any great hardship. You're right, of course: even though he is dead for more than half the film, he is the film's centre, its reason for being, and I love that his presence is always so keenly felt. I had no idea who the old man was, but he was such a brilliant character. I loved that when the feds asked him if he wanted or needed anything, he didn't mention his request. You want to die by the hands of good people, right?

You know what else I loved about this film? That post-coital scene between Dwight Yoakam and his lay-dee. It was so not Hollywood! No satin sheets, no beautiful radiant glow and no perfectly coiffed hair falling strategically across the pillows. Just a man still with his socks on, a woman who's not a teenage beauty anymore and a retro sofa. It was so real, it was beautiful.

I really loved this film!

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