Watching this again on television, I'm reminded how much I love this movie. I could write a whole, long essay on the reasons why, but I'll just say that this movie works for me on so many different levels. The haunting score, the moody cinematography, the father-son storyline, the shades of grey. I would have to say this is in my top ten favorite movies of all time.
I can remember the moment I saw the movie--alone and exhausted, taking a much-needed break before the start of a convention in 2002. I can remember the story this movie inspired: my fifth novel, Gun Lake, a flawed and somewhat ambitious novel with characters much like those in this film.
This is a dark movie with a theme of hope and redemption. And regardless of how many times I see it, I'm still moved. From that opening shot of the boy riding alone in the snow on his bike, to the closing shot of that same boy walking toward his future on a farm. Beautiful, poetic, and inspiring.