Director: Scott Cooper. Cast: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, Bill Camp, Timothée Chalamet, Peter Mullan, Ben Foster. 134 min. Rated R. Western.
An appropriately long, slow-paced Western, that allows the introductory D.H. Lawrence quote sink in: "The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted." You think the Indians in the opening scene are brutal - just watch how the American invaders act over the two hours after that. Among them is Christian Bale in one of his greatest career performances, as the rough, ruthless Indian-killer, who's appointed to none other than escorting a murderous Cheyenne chief to freedom, and who astonishingly has a heart. Why this isn't nominated for an Academy Award, is beyond me.
PS: Here's the eulogy for the Oscar snub.
PPS: Check out the director's amazing profile so far: only 4 features (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass, and this), each more captivating than the other.