directed by Edward Zwick
Edward Zwick’s sprawling American masterpiece about the Ludlow family is a rare treasure in that I wish it could go on forever, as epic and expansive as the American West itself. Zwick felt a personal connection to Jim Harrison’s novel, and it shows in the tender way he treats the material. Chronicling the family continuum, One Stab unfolds a portrait of a bond forged by time, broken by desire and made legendary by the passage of time. Zwick treats his subject matter with a temporal fluidity that gives the film an almost folklore-like quality, and James Horner composes the hell out of every scene. Anthony Hopkins gives one of the best performances of his career as Colonel Ludlow, patriarch and icon of an antique nobility. Henry Thomas brings much vulnerability and altruism to his role, and Brad Pitt earns his dreamiest dreamboat status as Tristan, macho embodiment of Romantic wildness. Mr. Z, if you ever decide to give the world a 22 hour version of this masterpiece, I would gladly ration all fluid intake to make it through every immaculate frame.