Oedipus Tex

Nothing is what it seems in John Sayles' border-town tragedy, Lone Star

Still, some actors stand out. Cooper doesn't let the morose pall that hangs over Sam drag down his characterization, but brings an intensity to his investigation. But the best work comes from Elizabeth Pena and Kristofferson. Pena, as the plain-talking teacher, in dealing with more people in a greater variety of situations than any other character, wrestles with innumerable complex issues. Kristofferson appears only in a few short scenes, but the impression he leaves in those scenes has great power.

Sayles' point is that the anecdotal quality of oral history has trivialized the greater message of our collective experience. "Remember the Alamo!" no longer lives as the war cry of a genuine event, but a jingoistic rallying cry. History has been calcified to the extremes; the legend has become separated from the man. Sayles doesn't mope about that, but welcomes it, as long as the legend can still accomplish some legitimate goal. A tragedy isn't tragic when people realize they may try to escape their fate but never can; that's just called growing up.

Lone Star. Castlerock. Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Morton. Written and directed by John Sayles. Opens June 28.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!