*Braveheart (1995)*

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Starring: Mel Gibson, Angus Macfadyen, Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, David O’Hara, Peter Hanly

Director: Mel Gibson

Summary: When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I

Other Nominations: Director*, Original Screenplay, Original Dramatic Score, Sound Editing*, Sound, Cinematography*, Makeup*, Costume Design, Film Editing

Boy, Mel Gibson sure loves his historical epics where the villainous group are all complete monsters…and loads of violence…and making a character’s righteous self-sacrifice be as brutal and drawn out as possible. Braveheart is about as historically accurate a historical epic as 300, but the way it’s done is so cartoonish that no one should have taken it seriously as factual and I didn’t have a big problem with that aspect; what really left me unsatisfied is just how hollow the movie is. For as great as the movie looks and sounds and as big as the scale is, it’s basically just a story about manliness with some romance and loads of violence. That’s perfectly fine, but 1)  not enough for a three hour movie and 2) not enough to deserve a Best Picture nomination, must less a win in a very strong year for American film.

I will say Gibson is very charismatic and is the glue that holds the whole movie together and that Patrick McGoohan is great as the evil bastard King Edward Longshanks. Overall though, even if I was never bored, it wasn’t anything special. I would have much rather seen a full-length version of Mel Gibson’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uOva_pZJ6Q.

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