The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

USA/France, 2005.  EuropaCorp, The Javelina Film Company.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Tommy Lee Jones, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 scores huge in his feature film directorial debut, a fascinating, dramatic look at race relations and loose concepts of justice in modern-day Texas. He plays a ranch hand who takes the law unto himself when his Mexican cowboy friend is found shot dead for no apparent reason and the authorities put forth a relaxed effort to find his killer. When the identity of the culprit is discovered, Jones goes on a journey of reconciliation, both physical and emotional, that goes further away from your expectations with each passing scene. A superb cast is rounded out by as an emotionally troubled border patrol officer and as a diner waitress who enjoys the company of more than just her short-order cook husband. Understated, subtle, brilliant and wholly captivating, this is an emotionally satisfying and exhilarating motion picture with a thoughtful, provocative issue at its centre and a stellar performance by Jones in the lead. Deserved winner at Cannes 2005 for Best Actor and Guillermo Arriaga’s spotless screenplay.

Cannes Film Festival Awards:  Best Actor (Tommy Lee Jones); Best Screenplay

Toronto International Film Festival:  2005


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