The Deer Hunter ★★★★★

With director Cimino's recent death and his reputation in tatters since the debacle of 'Heaven's Gate', I decided to visit 'The Deer Hunter'. Though over three hours long, it's astonishing, paced so achingly right and I can see why he rightfully earned the 'carte blanche' that would unfortunately lead to his downfall (as well as an entire studio's) as soon as he made his next film. But to reach such heights and to have such ambition--as well as undeniable talent--is a victory in and of itself. Just armed with the main five actors alone, at the zenith of their craft, a fine script (really the first interesting and well-deliberated Vietnam film to hit the big screen) and Vilmos Zsigmond behind the camera meant that this would prove something special. Scenes that will haunt you forever. My favourite shot is the incredible 360-degree pan shot around Linda's bedroom when she realizes she's given up on Nick and is going to declare her love to Michael--extraordinary stuff. What's YOURS?

Many film lovers who despise Cimino's work instantly clam up when 'The Deer Hunter' is mentioned...and there's a reason for that. It's deservedly considered one of the finest American films of the 70's--a decade that was chock-full of great ones.

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