Downhill Racer

Cocky as hell.

Robert Redford gives one of his best performances as a talented but troubled, deeply egotistical and ultimately unhappy Olympics-caliber skier.

A wonder boy with a dazzling plastic smile, he fights with his coach (Gene Hackman), snubs fans and sponsors, and toys with reporters, feeding them smooth misinformation while never letting the mask slip.

He’s only alive when he’s slicing down a mountain, but the wins and medals he piles up there can’t fill the gaping hole in his soul.

Forever unfulfilled, and always unsatisfied.

One of the true landmarks of cynical cinema, this remains ever-fascinating.

A River Runs Through It

Fine movies, like fine wines, call out to be savored.

Return to Robert Redford’s superb, low-key tale of mismatched brothers who come together, at least for a bit, while wading through crystal-clear waters, fly-fishing like their father.

An early showcase for Brad Pitt as a hard-driving newspaperman, the film chronicles the happy moments and tragic detours of a family headed up by always-strong Tom Skerritt.

I first saw it in a theater with my own dad, a born and bred Montana native.

With the film being set there, River has always retained a special place among my personal movie memories.