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My review of The Deer Hunter

May 11, 2014
Yesterday I watched The Deer Hunter, which won Best Picture at the Oscars for 1978. I can see why it won Best Picture. It is well-written and superbly acted. Robert De Niro was nominated for Best Actor, Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and Christopher Walken won Best Supporting Actor. Michael Cimino also took home the Best Director Oscar for it. It also won for Best Editing, but that is the one part that probably could have been a little better. That wedding scene lasted a little too long. The movie was 3 hours and 3 minutes long. Aside from the wedding scene, which is in the first third of the movie, the movie does not drag. The movie is about three friends (De Niro, Walken, and John Savage) before, during, and after their stint in the Army during the Vietnam War. In the beginning we get to see how close they all are. They work together. They hang out together. They hunt together. John Savage’s character gets married and the other two, along with a few other friends, are in the wedding. Then we see their harrowing ordeals in Vietnam. They are all taken captive by the VC and have to escape by way of a tense and suspenseful game of Russian Roulette. We will see more Russian Roulette later on in the movie and each scene in which it plays a part is suspenseful. After the war, we see one come back changed physically, one come back changed on the inside, and one not come back at all, but not at first for the reason you might think. The hunting scenes were shot in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, far from the Pennsylvania setting of the film, but the scenery in those scenes is absolutely stunning. I highly recommend The Deer Hunter. Next up, Mary Tyler Moore plays a cold mother to Timothy Hutton’s suicidal son in Ordinary People, the Best Picture winner of 1980.
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