Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Deer Hunter (1978)

MOVIE: The Deer Hunter
DIRECTOR: Michael Cimino
SCREENPLAY: Deric Wasburn
CAST: Robert Deniro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl STreep

Winner: Best Picture
Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Christopher Walken
Winner: Best Director – Michael Cimino
Winner: Best Film Editing
Winner: Best Sound
Nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role – Robert Deniro
Nominated: Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Meryl Streep
Nominated: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Nominated: Best Cinematography
The Deer Hunter is not a film about the Vietnam war, but rather a film about the effects of war, any war, has on the men who fight. The film opens with a wedding sequence that some criticize as too long. However, the sequence is meant not as a narrative tool, but instead as a character developing one. It shows the main characters how the characters were before war, how carefree and almost immature they are, and how close their bond as friends is. When the film transitions to Vietnam, it tests that bond and the impact of the following scenes, specifically the Russian Roulette sequences have that much more impact. The cast is amazing here, with Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep and John Cazale, but the must-see performance here is Christopher Walken in an Academy Award winning performance.

The Deer Hunter is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.