Far and Away (1992)

Oh, Irish accents never get old.

In Ron Howard’s epic drama, two 19th century Irish immigrants make the journey to the United States together, but for very different reasons. Joseph Donelly (Tom Cruise) is a poor farmer who’s lost everything, while Shannon Christie (Nicole Kidman) is chafing against her privileged but stifling upbringing. Looking for land as they make their way west, they also find love as they endure a series of hardships that strengthens their relationship.

Seeing all the reviewers for this film it was all basically cut in half of some liking it, and some hating it. For me I’m on the first side.

It really is stunning to look at. Many of the set pieces look like the turn of the century right in front of your eyes. I felt like I was there with these people while it was going on. I’am not usually a very big fan of period pieces mostly cause the look isn’t captured very well, but it all looks so real and genuine.There is a final scene at the end that takes place in the Land Run of 1893, and is shot so well with so much detail that it gives you the feeling of being in all that havoc.

I did have some problems with this film still however. The unrelenting Irish stereotypes got annoying, because as usual they just showed them drinking and fighting forget about anything else. I felt like the film could have definitely been better written cause most of the lines are really cheesy, and at the same time not very believable.  The movie is really cornball with its obvious cliche story and is highly predictable.

But most of the praise for this film has to go to Ron Howard who makes this 2 hour and 19 minute adventure seem a lot quicker than the run-time given. He makes sure scenes don’t go over the limit to the point of where they become an annoyance, and stages many scenes, like as I said before, with so much energy and realism that you actually feel like your there.

Tom Cruise as usual is very good here, although he is sporting the fake Irish accent. I kind of felt the same way towards him in this film as I did in The Last Samurai because I can’t quite get past that its Tom Cruise, because he has so much of that star-power, but still nonetheless does a great job anyway. But the real treat here is Kidman mostly because she plays these characters that could be so goofy, but does it with such strength and realism that you actually believe her characters.

Consensus: Far and Away has its obvious cliches and isn’t very believable, but is wonderful to look at, mostly from the fearless direction of Ron Howard, and two great performances from Cruise and Kidman.


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