Idol Chatter

appaloosapicforic.jpgIf you haven’t seen it yet, check out “Appaloosa” before it’s gone from theaters. Then circle back to this blog, as the discussion of faith issues in the movie I’m about to talk about will include a few spoilers.
I found “Appaloosa” to be a remarkable commentary from Ed Harris who directed, starred in, and co-wrote the movie. Included in this finely told (and beautifully filmed) tale of intriguing characters in an 1860’s New Mexican town were some surprisingly insightful questions raised about society which stand just as relevant for today. The film speaks about Authenticity, Leverage, Covenants and Sacrifice, featuring a Savior figure that isn’t who you’d think it would be.
Consider who is more the harlot: the proper, clean, mannered, and finely-dressed Allison French (played by Renee Zellweger) or the supportive, honest advisor Katie (Ariadna Gil) proves to be for Everett (Viggo Mortensen)?

Consider who is more the criminal: bad guy Bragg (Jeremy Irons) who kills three lawmen and holds the town hostage with his gangs and guns, or good guy Bragg who later holds the town hostage with his financial provisions and economic investments which raise the apparent quality of life?
Consider who is more upstanding, the town leaders who hire Everett and Cole (Ed Harris) to police the town, or the policemen who have to face what the town becomes after the escaped murderer becomes the power broker.
Friendships between the good guys in movie Westerns have a long tradition, but the humor, negotiation, confrontation, apology, forgiveness and accountability in the friendship between Cole and Everett certainly took the best of modern Westerns (“Open Range,” “Unforgiven,” and “Silverado”) and took it a step deeper.
In the end, consider how the real savior of the town was not the policeman, not the money man but the one who served Cole, served the town, saved Mrs. French from herself and stopped the bad guy who was getting away with it all, to the point of carrying his own cross, the one who had to break the law in order to restore the town. And then had to leave.
If you’ve seen it, what’d you think of it? And while you’re pondering that, did you consider the faith and society issues involved?
Ed-Harris at

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