Well... ok... it's probably not the best movie I've ever seen, but off hand I can't think of a better one, nor can I remember ever sitting in a theater and feeling the same sense of awe I felt while watching this one.
Yeah, that's right... awe. I can't think of a better word to sum up the emotional experience I went through watching this film.
Awe from the experience of being transported back in time to a perfectly realized 19th century America.
Awe at seeing one of my personal heroes brought to life so utterly and completely.
Awe at the heroism of so many men and women who fought to bring freedom to those who were literally bound in chains.
And awe at seeing how much the world has changed over a hundred years, but how little us Americans have changed with it.
I'm not saying this film was an allegory for the current debate sweeping our country regarding gay rights, but you'd have to be a cold person to walk out of this film and not at least consider how so many people are still being kept in literal chains.
But that's what this movie is: a literal retelling of a week or so in our country's history that can be taken as an allegory for modern times if you choose, or just rousing entertainment if you choose that.
I honestly don't have much more to say about this movie, if only because when I think back on it and remember the experience of watching it, I get a little welled up with emotion. It was that good, it was that important, and all I really have to say is you should go see it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I just rented The Expendables 2.