Cinema: Ain't What He Used To Be

An old (but not gray) Robert Redford shows off his oh-so-winsome side in The Horse Whisperer

In the movie's emblematic sequence, a horse named Pilgrim and an actor-director named Robert Redford stare at each other--the former nervously, the latter reassuringly. They're both handsome creatures, and the high Montana plain where this confrontation takes place is pretty too. But really, folks--endless minutes of screen time devoted to this silent, essentially motionless sequence? You get the feeling that someone is indulging himself and that his name isn't Pilgrim.

Not that one doubts the purity of purpose that led Redford to The Horse Whisperer, based on Nicholas Evans' best-selling, critically dissed novel about an uncannily simpatico wrangler. His patient ministrations...

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