1995 • Braveheart

Braveheart 1995 Best PictureMel Gibson may be declared a bit cuckoo these days, but not so long ago he was the prize of Hollywood, churning out blockbuster hits and even directing his way to the hearts of the Academy. Braveheart was clearly his defining piece of work, though prior to last night, I had never seen this Scottish mega-hit.

Braveheart is the mostly true story of William Wallace (Gibson), a 13th-century Scotsman who, as a boy, faces the death of his father and brother after they are killed by King Longshanks of England. Years later, after being raised by his uncle, Wallace returns to his homeland to live a peaceful life and falls in love with the beautiful Murron (Catharine McCormack), who soon after is attacked by English soldiers and executed after an attempt to fight back. Wallace unites the villagers to kill the English soldiers, and after a victorious fight, more Scots band together and take on larger battles against the English in an attempt to free the country.

Braveheart was better than expected. My general taste for movies isn’t really ancient foreign war epics, but this had a good enough storyline behind it for me to stay interested. The war scenes were among the best and most realistic I’ve seen. I mean how do they not really get injured… we can see people taking axes and darts to the chest. Someone had to have accidentally been hurt during filming. And how do these war movies get horses to topple over and not get hurt? I would imagine PETA would be all over such productions. I’m not opposed to it, I just can’t figure it out.

As I said with Braveheart’s decent storyline, there was actually a moment that made me laugh out loud. Actually most scenes involving that likely-homosexual Prince Edward were funny, but none moreso than when King Edward is talking to his son’s newly-appointed counsel, who claims to be an expert at warfare. “Oh, please come over here and tell me about it,” says the king, who lures the counsel to an open window and then hurls him out several stories where he plummets to his death.

Much like Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the movie ends with a brutal beating of the lead character, who sits there and takes it. I’m just not passionate enough about anything to be brutally tortured in front of a crowd. I guess that’s why there won’t ever be an epic movie about me.

This movie was a little on the long side for my taste. For the first time in quite a while, I fell asleep midway through and had to resume the next day. And personally I thought Apollo 13 was the better picture that year, though in the end Braveheart was a worthy winner. And to settle the score once and for all between Mel’s female counterparts in the movie, I thought Princess Isabelle was probably a little better looking than Murron, but either way he made out just fine.

1 Comment

  1. […] cruising through our Best Picture project, watching 1995′s epic Braveheart this past week. Check out the review over on my Best Pic […]

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