Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Out of the Furnace", a film with more talent than attention

This film was bumped into last night on cable.  Released in late 2013 and starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whittaker, and Willem Dafoe among others, and Leonardo DiCaprio as a producer, it had never been heard of here.  No surprise really as a quick look at Wikipedia shows that it had total box office receipts of less than $16 million.  It was a bomb.  Still the star lineup almost required watching this grim tale of an Iraq war veteran returning to his small steel manufacturing town in rural Pennsylvania.  The story wanders through ongoing hardship and salvages little.

The thought here from the beginning was that was meant to be, must have been meant to be, an updated version of the 1979 film "The Deerhunter", with Iraq replacing Vietnam.  That film won best picture and other Oscars, while this one went nowhere.  Is that a sign of the times?

In fact, in "Out of the Furnace" two of the characters eventually go deer hunting.  Subtle.

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