- Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score): Marco Beltrami
- Achievement in Sound Mixing: Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
A remake the 1957 film of the same name. The original didn’t pick up any Academy Awards nominations. It was a tough year, with Bridge on the River Kwai winning for Best Picture, no doubt with stiff competition from 12 Angry Men. Nevertheless, then, as now, the film probably received proper acclaim for its execution.
Here’s the plot synopsis from oscar.com:
Struggling rancher Dan Evans assists in the capture of the outlaw Ben Wade and volunteers to help escort the prisoner to Yuma and the train that will convey him to his trial. As the journey progresses, the manipulative Wade begins a clever game of psychological warfare on his captors, seeking out their weaknesses as the members of his own gang follow the group, awaiting an opportunity to free him.
The 2007 version of 3:10 to Yuma received nominations for sound mixing, and original score. The film was solid. The performance by Russell Crowe as baddy Ben Wade worked, but didn’t sing. An outlaw with a soul, I suppose Crowe can be. But his performance in this film, as with most of his work, lacks subtly, nuance and introspection. Ben Wade is a complex, interesting character, and his choice at the end of the film needs to be motivated. That was lacking in this film.
Christian Bale gave a more brooding performance as good-guy Dan Evans. He gives moderate depth to his character, and I believe his choices, if not am absolutely inspired by them.
I can understand why the producers chose to remake the original, because the source material is interesting, and the potential exists to take the viewer on a very interesting and nuanced trip in an exploration of right and wrong, family and duty, tenacity and cowardice. Still, we didn’t get there in the 2007 version, and perhaps it will take another try to really make this movie sing.
Garnering two nominations (original score and sound mixing) is a coup. Since the film didn’t sing for me, I bow to the concensus of the industry in their recognition in these categories. I do note that it did receive a nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Composer, although it did not win (the nod went to Jonny Greenwood for There Will be Blood). Probably that is a good auger for how things will go on February 24 for the 3:10 to Yuma.
All in all, this is to say this is a … solid film. A good rental, as they say. I enjoyed it, and don’t have much more to say, neither for good nor bad. Do see it when you can.