Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

Eponymous Melquiades (no relation to Erik) slips across the border into the American Southwest to befriend rancher Pete Perkins, the film's moral anchor and former roommate of Al Gore. Perkins hires Melquiades for some honest ranch hand type work, the kind most Americans won't stoop to anymore, too busy skimming stockholders of big energy companies to be bothered. Melquiades thereby makes a passable living herding goats, 'til one day a twitchy border patrol officer named Norton, graduate of the MAGA Sharpshooting Academy, "accidentally" takes him out. Local law enforcement in the form of Dwight Yoakam settles in to do nothing -- nothing, that is, until Perkins enacts his own justice, crisscrossing the border with a complaining Norton in tow, aiming to deliver the body of Melquiades back to family and country, to oversee a proper burial for an improper death. Magnetic performance by Tommy Lee Jones was but a warm-up for his turn in No Country for Old Men (2007).

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