Saturday, June 3, 2023

‘1923’ Review: Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren Boost Taylor Sheridan’s Messy ‘Yellowstone’ Spinoff

Paramount+ hour-long pilot 1923the only episode of yellowstone The prequel, made available to reviewers, is less a template for a compelling ongoing series and more a very loose combination of things from engaging creator Taylor Sheridan this week, apparently.

Indigenous Reeducation School! The Tsavo man-eaters of Kenya! Grazing rights!



Ford and Mirren are good, but the plot needs fixing.

air Date: Sunday, December 18 (Paramount+)
Throw: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Marley Shelton, James Badge Dale, Darren Mann, Brandon Schellner, Jennifer Ehle, Amina Nieves, Jerome Flynn, Timothy Dalton
creator: Taylor Sheridan

pieces of maybe 1923 will eventually come together and maybe they’ll come together quickly — again, I’ve only seen one episode — but in the short run, it’s unlikely that Sheridan’s carefully crafted core audience will care. familiar wide-open Big Sky vistas and the periodic totemic recitation of the name “Dutton”, among a star-studded cast led by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. 1923 Instant offers a lot to be curious (and potentially upset) about.

Ford and Mirren play Jacob and Kara Dutton – any and all mentions of the last name “Dutton” being “you know, like yellowstone in 100 years”—the owners of a thriving cattle ranch in Montana. As Ford and Mirren play a couple realizing what they hoped was a remote utopia, 1923 is clearly a mosquito beach Prequel too.

Jacob arrived in 1894 and found himself raising his brother James – “like Tim McGraw 1883!” lies – sons John (James Badge Dale) and Spencer (Brandon Schellner). Also added to the busy Dutton clan is John’s son Jack (Darren Mann), who is determined to be part of the family’s ranching heritage and the slightly more original and proper Elizabeth. (Michelle Randolph) is eager to marry.

The people of the Montana Livestock Association are concerned about the lack of grazing space for their cattle and the incursion of sheep by local ranchers led by Jerome Flynn’s banner – a rivalry that has been going on since the old country (or old countries, ) it is a conflict between the Scots and the Irish).

Meanwhile, presumably in the Montana wilderness, we meet Teona (Amina Nieves), an indigenous teenager facing abuse at a residential boarding school run by stern father Renaud (Sébastien Roche) — I can’t believe it. I’m choosing that “Raynaud” means this series is also a prequel. chocolate war — and is overseen by the sly Sister Mary (JENNIFER EHLE).

And then there’s a story in Africa, where an initially unknown mustachioed man is hunting big game and repressing the trauma of his service in the Great War.

Just as the latent scars of the Civil War were at the heart of psychology 1883The background story of World War I is as broad as 1923 Prohibition and the impending Great Depression are for its inevitable future. It’s all tied together with Sheridan’s trademark determination to have the man’s inherent sadistic disregard for… well, everything. As Isabelle May recites in the series’ opening voiceover, “violence has always plagued this family,” which in this case sounds like a mighty understatement. As Sheridan presents it, violence is fundamental to the DNA of the American dream, a strain of our deepest identity that we have been able to inflict on the land, the people who previously occupied the land and one that we can share globally. Also able to export.

the more it spreads 1923 The pilot gets, I feel more speculative.

When it comes to the solid ground of all things, the Duttons — the gravely determined older men, the rebellious and potentially troublesome young men, and the confident and supportive women around them — 1923 The pilot is totally watchable. Director Ben Richardson is a regular within the Sheridan universe as both director and cinematographer, and he is an expert in the visual grammar of this world, even the parts of it that bother me, such as the distant Till production design. He knows what and what not, from picturesque shots of tiny horses against a vast sky and herds of cattle roaming vast plains to close-up close-ups of curvaceous men and women stirring about the nobility of the land. The TV critic in me wants to assert – not that the Taylor Sheridan group cares – that every 1883 And 1923 Strive to do better and more efficiently at Amazon English,

Ford, comfortably resting in the character actor phase of his career, which he probably would have liked to have started back in the ’80s, he soars with enormous weight and oozes out every inch of his scrawny face. Is. Introduced rifle-in-hand but still conveying enough essential emotion, Mirren is a fine foil, though she boasts the kind of troweled-on, exaggerated accent anyone would dare to quibble with. perhaps, were it not being performed by an incomparably great actor of our times (see also Dame Judi Dench Belfast, Thus far, Dale (and onscreen wife Marley Shelton) have generally felt underappreciated and Timothy Dalton, who chews scenery in the show’s trailer, hasn’t made his first appearance.

The stuff in residential school is just nonstop sadism and, while I’m sure it’s outright sadism and I’m sure there’s value in untouched teaching yellowstone Viewers of these schools perceive the scenes to be exactly the kind of exploitative reproduction of trauma—by white writers and directors, no less—that worries audiences when slavery or the Holocaust are treated in comparison. Perhaps once that story moves beyond the profanity, the beatings, the bloodshed, it will integrate more solidly. Oh, and Ehle is wildly overqualified for this “savage nun” role, so I expect Sister Mary to get more interesting in a hurry.

And for the scenes in Africa? ok i understand sheridan saw ghost and darkness And read some Hemingway, but by now the show’s self-seriousness borders on colonialism as silly, and two things in the final five minutes that were startling made me laugh out loud in ways that certainly weren’t intentional.

Inequality has its advantage, though: most 1923 The pilot is a mismatched puzzle, but the pieces I love make me more curious than ever yellowstone either 1883, After watching only an hour, I think my review boils down to, “We’ll have to wait and see.”

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