Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Once I had believed in father, and the world had seemed small, and old. Now he was gone, and I wasn't afraid to love him any more. And the world seemed limitless.”
I’ve decided to watch a movie I haven’t seen from one of my favorite directors of all-time. Peter Weir’s films always has this adventurous feel to them and the story subject matter he chooses to direct his films on have always grabbed my attention. As I expected, this film had the best of my interest. The story is about a American family man who is fed up with the American life and is obsessed with the idea that America is on the brink of collapsing so he wants to move to another country. He decides to build a Eden in the jungle away from society so that he and his family won’t become what he fears most. This story wouldn’t of worked without the amazing performances coming from all the leads and all the supporting performances. Hellen Mirren is beautiful as ever and does a splendid job playing the most loyal wife I’ve ever seen on film. I wish she had more screen time along with the late River Phoenix who plays the oldest son who is proud and devoted to his father’s motives. He holds the family together when the parents are not around. Such a strong performance from River BUT this is Harrison Ford’s movie. He gives his best performance ever in my opinion. He brings so much charisma and charm to this character. You can see the passion in his performance when playing this role. He bursts with so much emotion when creating ideas and inventing stuff that you just want to root him on. But when things doesn’t go his way you can see his pride and ego gets in the way and you can see the disgust and the anger he leashes out on his family. His character is likable at first then very unlikable by the end. That’s great acting. The flaws are there though. The problem with this story is it’s already been used many times before. There’s not much narrative towards the end because it becomes predictable. This is a character study inside the mind of a arrogant genius and towards the end there wasn’t much left to study. It’s very slow paced as well when it didn’t need to be. Nonetheless, Peter Weir is a master at turning novels into movies and it shows here. Performances are strong and believable. As always in Mr. Weir’s films the majestic location and prolific cinematography makes this film adventurous. Overall this was well worth the ride.