Monday, September 14, 2015

Forgotten Movies of Greatness: Once Were Warriors

It is a fair criticism that my Forgotten Movies of Greatness all seem to be movies that I saw during their original release, in theaters, like some kind of movie buff and not, say, curmudgeonly glancing up from his phone to catch a handful of scenes as they play out via Netflix on the living room TV... so late 80s through 9/11. Did 9/11 stop my movie buffing?!

No, buying a house, growing older, deeper antipathy for others did, those are your real killers. Them and OJ Simpson, of course.

Once Were Warriors is an awkwardly titled powerhouse of a movie. It is difficult to watch but so rewarding. It has a "fresh" rating of 94% from Rotten Tomatoes and was named the Best New Zealand Film of All Time by a 2014 poll of New Zealanders (or "Aussies" as they are sometimes known).

Rena Owen and Temuera Morrison are amazing, truly amazing, in this movie. Owen's performance, in particular, was worthy of an Oscar. And, AND, Morrison is fucking Jango Fett. Think about that for a minute, nerd.

Owen is Nee Alavar and if you really are a nerd you know exactly who that is. I, however, do not. But there was a link so now I do (spoiler alert: I don't think there's an action figure).

Depressing as hell, but oh so rewarding.

No comments: