Go see this movie now.
Up until now, Unforgiven had held the top spot as my favorite western of all time. With all due respect to Clint, I'm sorry to inform him he is now a close second to 3:10 to Yuma. This movie was phenomenal. Granted, I am a big (okay huge) Christian Bale fan. But this movie stands on its own merits, my CB obsession notwithstanding.
The story was poignant. The character of Dan Evans, his lot in life and the things he faced as a man a bit staggering as they were revealed bit by bit. He had the deck stacked against him and no way to fight back against it. He tried to do the right thing by his family and yet fate seemed determined to keep beating him down. Still, it was easy to see, to this character it was his family that came first. Then you had Ben Wade. His own backstory was pathetic in its own right, but he chose a much different path, with far different results and little remorse.
And when these two characters come together and these two character dynamics are set in motion, the story explodes on the screen. The actors themselves, both CB and Russell Crowe make you instantly forget you are watching the actors and you become engrossed in the characters, in what is about to happen, on how it will all play out. I found myself holding my breath, gripping my seat, silently wishing for a desired outcome. You become one with the characters. I simply forgot I was sitting in a theatre.
I had planned to go back the next day, but I was still mulling the story over in my mind and was almost glad when the movie times didn't allow me to make the Saturday show. I considered Sunday, but after a full day of my chapter meeting decided to wait until movie night with the girls this coming Friday. I'm hoping to get as many viewings in as I can before it leaves the theatres. And there's already room on the shelf for when the DVD comes out.
So if you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It is definitely a not to be missed experience.