“One of ours” by Thomas Bezucha comes out this Wednesday in our theaters. This poignant family drama with western accents is worn by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, who reunite after playing Superman’s parents.
The drama One of ours by Thomas Bezucha comes out this Wednesday in our theaters after having been postponed several times because of the pandemic. Led by Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Lesley Manville, the feature film tells us an intimate family story that is both modern and timeless about misfortune, loss, but also redemption and deliverance.
The film is set in the 1960s in Montana. After the loss of their son, retired Sheriff George Blackledge (Costner) and his wife, Margaret (Lane), leave their ranch to save their young grandson from the clutches of a dangerous family held in an iron fist by matriarch Blanche Weboy (Manville).
When they find out that the Weboys have no intention of letting the child go, George and Margaret have no choice but to fight to finally reunite their family.
This film is directed by the American director Thomas Bezucha to whom we owe the comedies Big Eden, Esprit de famille and Bienvenue à Monte-Carlo. With L’Un des nôtres, the filmmaker categorically changes his register and delivers a poignant thriller that flirts with the western.
The director was offered the adaptation by producer Paula Mazur with whom he had just collaborated on the adaptation of the novel Le Cercle littéraire de Guernesey.
The latter was immediately thrilled and underlines: “It’s the kind of movies I grew up with in the 70s and 80s: People Like Others by Robert Redford or Kramer vs. Kramer by Robert Benton. Films on couple and family relationships *.“
The feature film is adapted from the novel Let him go by Larry Watson released in the United States in 2013 by Milkweed editions. The latter takes place in 1951 but the director and screenwriter chose to situate the plot of his film at the beginning of the 1960s.
He explains : “1963 marks a turning point in American collective consciousness. It is the assassination of President Kennedy, the end of innocence, of disgrace, that we have all experienced together. there is a before and an after.”
On the other hand, the story takes place in the great outdoors of the American West and is carried by characters not very talkative, who give themselves little. The adaptation therefore had to take this into account so that each word spoken was not for nothing.
Thomas Bezucha specifies: “When they open their mouths, you have to make them say the right things. The book is very specific in this sense. That was the great challenge of writing this film *.”
FROM MAN OF STEEL TO ONE OF OURS
And to bring this intense family drama, the director has entrusted the roles of George and Margaret to Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. The two actors know each other well since they have already toured together twice in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman where they played the adoptive parents of Clark Kent.
The actors were delighted to be able to collaborate together again. Kevin Costner says: “Diane was the determining factor for me. I have always favored good working conditions, and it was a golden opportunity. Diane motivated me and Tom’s mastery convinced me“.
For her part, Diane Lane is also full of praise for her partner: “Kevin gives integrity to each of his roles. He seems able to handle any situation, any character. Things are getting clearer. This is also what happens with George. Kevin immediately saw the beauty of the story, its obviousness, its sincerity and it resonated with him *.”
THE WESTERN GETS IT TO THE SKIN
If One of Us is a mixture of several genres, such as thriller, family drama and road movie, it also includes many elements of the western, a genre that made the glory of Kevin Costner in particular thanks to Dancing with the Wolves, which won 7 Oscars including those for best film and best director. The actor has also starred in Silverado, Open Range (which he also directed) and the Yellowstone series.
Kevin represents the best America has
For producer Paula Mazur, it was impossible to imagine anyone else in the role of George: “Kevin represents the best America has, he breathes the western.
He adores the American West which holds a good place in his psyche, and I have the feeling that it shows through his weathered face, his chin, his incredible blue eyes and his frankness of character. There is something direct, savvy about him that fits George perfectly *“.
MAJOR AMERICAN SPACES … IN CANADA
If the action of the film takes place between Montana and North Dakota, One of ours was filmed in Calgary, Canada (less than 300 km north of the border with Montana), between April and May 2019. The Canadian landscapes therefore serve as liners for the limitless expanses of Montana in the 1960s.
For the aesthetic of the film, Thomas Bezucha, cinematographer Guy Godfree and production designer Trevor Smith were inspired by the work of American painter and photographer Saul Leiter.
The director explains: “Guy wanted to contextualize what we were showing. You can almost always see a doorframe, a bedpost, or the silhouette of another person in the frame. We constantly understand the place, the environment in which we are and the relationships between the characters.”
Trevor Smith ajoute : “We wanted the film to be tired, textured, dusty. It takes place just before JFK’s assassination, just before the American Dream debacle.
It was delicate, because we have in mind a rather pastel period. As we were in a rural atmosphere, we could afford reminiscences of the 50s, the vestiges of the past were legitimized *.”
* Comments taken from the film’s press kit