Review by Rumsey Taylor
Posted on 30 August 2004
Source Columbia Tristar VHS
features: John Sayles: American Independent
Lone Star is intrinsically an aggregate of John Sayles’ prior films, politically and racially. It presents an ensemble of characters that span these facets evenly, each, in some manner, componential to the film’s central schemes of murder and the obscurity of truth. Lone Star is perhaps also Sayles’ most stylistic film, as it often presents these varied elements and characters — which span two generations — within the same shot.
The film is generically a pulp mystery, to which Sayles’ characteristic issues are often incidental. The extent and volume of the film’s motifs may hinder its strife for cohesiveness, but Lone Star may be appreciated for the wealth of its concerns. Although its pieces do not necessarily amount to a solvable puzzle, they serve to illustrate its color and variety.
Lone Star’s central mystery (which is what you’ll see highlighted in the trailer) is its least relevant aspect. More interesting is the correlation between its two depicted generations, one the present, the other some forty years prior, and the notion that the Texas location’s social ills are resilient between them — a notion summarily contested in the film’s staggering and revelatory conclusion.