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Smoke Signals back to product details

Accurate and compelling
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written by jmwagner66 January 14, 2012 - 8:49 PM PST
I live and work in the place where this film is set. I saw it being filmed. The film feels absolutely familiar to me as far as real events, real people, the accent and the look of the characters. Obviously not all members of the Tribe are represented in a single film, but the characters are familiar in the same way that the characters in "The Straight Story" are familiar to Iowans. As for the reviewer who claims that Suzi Song is "too pretty" to be a loner...wtf? She isn't a "loner" she's a career woman in health care administration. And why wouldn't she be pretty whether or not she's a loner? There are stunningly beautiful people in all walks of life, all cultures and all locations. Beauty is not the province of the rich and social.

The dialogue, for example the discussions of Indianness, sovereignty, and money, are common. The humor is wonderful and real. And yes, it is sad. But it depends on where the film plays. I saw it in a theater in Spokane, Washington (near the reservation with many Native Americans in the audience) and it played as a comedy. I saw it in the midwest with nary a Tribal member in attendance and people cried throughout the film.

Alexie's other films have been edgier and harder to view for mainstream audiences. He remains a powerful writer who will hopefully someday get his due in filmdom.

Real life with funny parts
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written by lividsnails January 23, 2005 - 5:05 PM PST
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Who the hell said this was a comedy??? This is no comedy! I cried all the way through it. This is real life, with funny parts. Sherman Alexie is one of the greatest writers of the 20th/21st century and he's proven himself to be a real Renaissance man. Not only did he write this screenplay version of his book but he also wrote several of the songs! (The soundtrack has others by such artists as Dar Williams and Walaila which fit as perfectly into the movie as his own.)

It's easier to pinpoint what's wrong with a bad movie than it is to pinpoint what's right with a good one. Everything's right about this movie. It overwhelmingly leaves you thinking about the reality of its story rather anything about the medium which is what good books and movies are supposed to do. That said I'll just say I overwhelmingly disagree with the previous reviews. The characters are profound and complete, non-stereotypes; the protagonist(s) evolve, the imagery is realistic and beautiful. The storyline is unscripted and original and surprising. I think Alexie 's writing is deceivingly simple and puristic on the outside but juicy and complex inside.


This is a beautiful movie.

ms.lividsnails

Read my blog: Lucky White Girl

reservation life deserves better
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written by jleeman August 6, 2004 - 7:31 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
The humor is too gentle, and the drama too generic and predictable to save this movie from blandness. The attempts at Native American profundity and poetry fall flat, as do the reflections on father-son relations. Except for Evan Adams, the actors are unengrossing, and Suzy Song is much, much too beautiful to play the disaffected loner who loves the absentee father. But the viewing experience is redeemed by the Evan Adams character's zest for storytelling, respect for tradition, and unguarded affection for everyone he knows and meets.

worth a view
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written by maritoni July 21, 2003 - 11:07 AM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
decent first feature for chris eyre. sherman alexie wrote screenplay. important, groundbreaking film for the native american community.

to me, this film gives a first impression of contemporary native american life. the story is rather predictable and the characters aren't that deeply drawn, though they are refreshingly diverse (you might even say quirky, certainly non-stereotypical). the cast is likeable, especially the lead actors and somehow when i got to the end i was satisfied.

hopefully, this is just the tip of the iceberg for these talented folks.

12345678910

(Average 6.90)
214 Votes
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