Lone Star (1996) revisiting a modern classic

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Lone Star is a film that I remembered really enjoying almost 20 years ago when it was released on home video. I think I watched it then because Roger Ebert raved about it. Gosh I still miss that man’s writing. I didn’t always share his opinion, but I admired his writing tremendously, coveted his job and appreciated that when I read his review, whether positive or negative, I could usually guess if a film was for me or not. But I digress. Back to Lone Star, when I saw that it was playing on premium cable, I set it up to record and enjoyed revisiting it again.

Lone Star is a modern day western mystery set in a Texas border town. We follow sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) piece together clues to a decades old mystery.  In doing so, skeletons tumble out of many closets. He is convinced that his late father, Buddy Deeds, former sheriff and town saviour has something to do with the skeletal remains discovered in a shallow grave on an abandoned shooting range.

In addition to a very compelling mystery, there is a masterful depiction of small town life and its unwritten rules of the social order. There is also subtle commentary about the complexity of Texas history and how it is perceived by an ethnically diverse population. This is also a story about grown men and their fathers, political corruption and love. It is masterfully presented by writer/director John Sayles with many surprises that I daren’t hint at.

The cast is stellar. In addition to a wonderful and subtle performance by Chris Cooper, there is a young Matthew McConaughey as Buddy Deeds in flashback sequences as well as Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Pena, Joe Morton, Frances McDormand and a young Chandra Wilson.

This is a great film that still holds up 20 years after it was released. If you like mysteries and social commentary this may be worth hunting down.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul S
    Mar 13, 2017 @ 13:40:11

    I was lucky enough to see Lone Star in the cinema back in the day. All these years later it’s still brilliant. John Sayles’ masterpiece!


    • dvdiva
      Mar 13, 2017 @ 20:14:29

      Thanks for your comment. This movie is so layered; I agree, a masterpiece. The cultural themes are as relevant now as they were then.


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