For Your Consideration… ROB ROY

on September 25 | in News | by | with Comments Off on For Your Consideration… ROB ROY

The purpose of these posts is to serve as a quick reminder to our voting members, what works from the year in question are worth a second look.

STORY: Scotsman Rob Roy MacGregor is falsely accused of a debt that he doesn’t owe, and risks his family and life to defend his honor.

Best Picture
I’m a big fan of this movie, but as I was watching it again, it dawned on me that the reason it probably never caught on with an audience is that there just isn’t any single iconic moment in the film. Regardless, it’s just solid straight forward filmmaking. It’s focused, has great villains and a strong protagonist. In fact, Rob Roy McGregor may even be too strong, and perhaps that’s why this film isn’t more of a classic. He never has a moment of doubt or questions himself. A little more of that may have lead to a stronger film.

Best Director :: Michael Caton-Jones
As I mentioned before, there is no single iconic moment from this film, and I have to lay that somewhat at the feet of director Caton-Jones, so I’m somewhat reluctant to include him here as a potential nominee. That said, it is a strong film on most counts, and I also have to attribute that to his vision.

Best Actress :: Jessica Lange
Lange plays the stalwart wife of Rob Roy. A woman so strong that she doesn’t tell her husband that she was violated by the villain, because she knows that that’s what they’ll want, sending him in to a rage, and deliver himself to their trap. So Lange hides this from her man, and any time you have a performance where you are hiding something, it ups the game of the performer. Lange is particularly strong in the moments right after she’s been raped, making herself presentable as her home literally burns to the ground around her, and then she strides out of her home to face her adversaries with all the fortitude of the queen of Scotland.

Best Supporting Actor :: Tim Roth
There are a number of candidates for this nomination including John Hurt, and particularly Brian Cox, but Roth is the scene stealer here. Crossing the line from ass kissing fop, to dastardly swordsman, he portrays our favorite kind of villain, the kind that you can’t wait to see get his comeuppance.

Best Original Screenplay :: Alan Sharp
This film rises due to the excellent screenplay by Sharp (who wrote another of my favorites, the little known Gene Hackman film NIGHT MOVES from 1975). It’s a film about honor, and a man’s word, and nearly every scene in this film is centered around this theme. Furthermore, it becomes a wonderful game of cat and mouse, each character motivated by either their greed or honor, who is the back stabber, and when is it fair game to stab someone in the back?

Best Score :: Carter Burwell
Burwell is one of my favorite modern film composers, and this movie is right in his wheel house. He always manages a great blend of balancing a traditional sound (in this case Scottish) with a modern orchestra to create something that feels organic to the time, yet current and dramatic for the film. Once again, he doesn’t disappoint.

Best Art Direction :: Asheton Gorton
Often times films of this era center around a story of the haves and have nots, and Gorton distinguishes a clean line between the opulence of castles and manors, and peasants living in mud houses (though not in squalor).

Best Costume Design :: Sandy Powell
Like Gorton’s production design, Powell makes that clear delineation between the rich and the poor. The peasants always dressed in natural tones in their kilts, while the rich are always sporting shiny garish colors that flaunt “look how wealthy I am.”

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