Michael Cimino has just died.
So I will reblog my review of The Deer Hunter. I have seen Heaven’s Gate (it’s as bad as the critics say). I have not seen his other films.
The Deer Hunter is a flawed masterpiece. It’s racist, reactionary, overly long, but in the end it’s a great work of art. It’s worth seeing, if only to get an idea of how the American invasion and occupation of Vietnam ultimately destroyed America.
Three quarters of the way through The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino’s iconic, and very long, film about three Pennsylvania steel workers in Vietnam, Mike Vronsky, Robert Deniro, returns home on leave, and meets Linda, the fiancee of his best friend Nick Chevotarevich. Chevotarevich, a young Christopher Walken, is still missing in action, but it’s clear Linda doesn’t care quite as much as Vronsky does. She loves Mike, not Nick, and isn’t shy about letting him know. Since Linda is played by Meryl Streep, we are certain that this this will be a deeply emotional, deeply significant exchange between two great actors.
Surprisingly Meryl Streep, who would later become famous for the number of foreign accents she could mimic, plays Linda in a quiet, understated, and completely “American” manner. Even though the first hour of The Deer Hunter is centered around an elaborate Russian Orthodox wedding, Linda is more Fargo than…
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