Two brothers grow up in 1920s Montana with a
love of fly fishing and differing plans for their lives.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Directed by Robert Redford
Written by Richard Friedenberg
Starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Lloyd, Edie McClurg, Stephen Shellen
Based on the novella by Norman Maclean
Oscar Wins - Best Cinematography
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay,
Best Original Score (Mark Isham)
I'm of the belief that not everybody's life is all that interesting. Frankly, when your entire memoir amounts to "I thoroughly enjoyed fly fishing with my brother," I don't think a movie need be made of your life. This coming-of-age tale is relentlessly dull and painfully boring from beginning to end. If it weren't for the performances, there'd be nothing to hold onto. But Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, and Tom Skerritt are doing their best to make this thing palatable, or at the very least watchable. Whether or not they succeeded is entirely subjective.
In Montana, in the early 1900s, the Maclean brothers found a love of fly fishing thanks to their father, the town reverend (Skerritt). Norman (Sheffer) grew up with a plan for his life. He wanted to be a writer and a teacher. His brother Paul (Pitt) was rebellious. He openly dated a Native American woman and would get into fights left and right. The entire movie is basically just Norman waxing poetic and wooing his future wife Jessie (Lloyd), while Paul does something wacky. Then they go fly fishing. It's a miracle that Robert Redford was able to make a two hour movie out of such a barebones tale.
I'm sure there are folks out there who adore this movie. I can't imagine why, but every film has their admirers. I just found it to be a dull, uninspired drag that I don't plan on watching again.