103/365 - McCabe and Mrs. Miller by Robert Altman
John McCabe, a gambler who becomes business partners with an English women named Constance Miller run a brothel together and slowly begin to gain success for themselves, as well as their town. Agents from a mining company arrive and try to buy their brothel, where they refuse.
Right off the bat, you’ll be sort of dizzy with how people interact with each other. Words are spoken, but you won’t hear every word anyone says. Many westerns are framed like plays, and in most films if there are crowds most of their small talk isn’t important or emphasized. This film is almost comprised of small tall, and the audio editing is all over the place. Everyone talks whenever they’d like and it seems like all the extras were improvising as filming went on. Remembering Altman’s previous film The Player, I was getting lost at the dinner or party scenes where groups of people begin to speak at the same time.
I understood what was going on, but not clearly. Much like the setting of the film, the dialogue is muddy and cold. It’s an unusual western I wasn’t completely prepared for. The beginning of the film really tested my patience, and shows all the little Altman quirk’s that I’m not a fan of. Now all that aside, Warren Beatty’s performance as John McCabe is brilliant and how the narrative is shown is quite interesting. The final gun fight, as most westerns end with, is probably the best I’ve ever seen.