Lone Star

Once again, I am reminded what a terrific film this is. John Sayles made this movie in 1996 (Academy Award-nominated for Best Screenplay) and his eye for detail and his ear for dialogue is unsurpassed. Chris Cooper ("Breach" and Academy Award for"Adaptation") excels as the sheriff of a border county in Texas. This story moves back and forth in time so it requires close attention, but there is no scene wasted, no scrap of dialogue unnecessary. You are watching two generations of people in this town, Black, Hispanic, Anglo, as each individual tries to cobble together a life that accommodates the changing times and the things that time won't change.

Joe Morton ("Brother From Another Planet" and "Bounce") is a gung- ho Colonel at a nearby Army post who has just moved his family here to oversee the closing of the facility; this movie does NOT disparage his attitude about his chosen career. His estranged father runs the only local bar that welcomes blacks.

Elizabeth Peña ("Tortilla Soup" and "Transamerica") is a local school- teacher who was acquainted with Chris Cooper when they were both school children.

Matthew McConaughey ("A Time To Kill" and "Two For The Money") is Cooper's father, seen in flashbacks, who became sheriff when the corrupt lawman played by Kris Kristofferson ("Dance With Me" and "A Star Is Born") disappeared along with $10,000.00 of county money.

Frances McDormand ("Paradise Road" and "Fargo") has a wonderful cameo as the drug-addled ex-wife of Cooper's character.

You sort your way through a tangled web of racism, illegal immigration, military commitment, adultery and murder. This is one of the sexiest, warmest, most intelligent and delicately balanced movies you will ever encounter that has been set in a contemporary border town. Each time I see it, I am reminded once again of Sayles' warm-hearted illustration of good people trying to live decent lives amid mixed messages and confounding situations.

Check it out, you won't be sorry...