Starring: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Lesley Manville, Will Brittain, Jeffrey Donovan, Kayli Carter, Booboo Stewart
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Drama written and directed by Thomas Bezucha. The story follows retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane), who after the loss of their son, leave their Montana ranch to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a dangerous family living off the grid in the Dakotas, headed by matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). When they discover the Weboys have no intention of letting the child go, George and Margaret are left with no choice but to fight for their family.
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George Blackledge: [referring to their grandson, Jimmy] He isn’t far. Just in town. Margaret Blackledge: He isn’t here.
Margaret Blackledge: I’m going to get Jimmy. Bring him home to live with us. George Blackledge: Well, you sure packed for a trip into town.
George Blackledge: [referring to seeing Donnie hit Lorna] I’m asking if you’re sure of what you saw. Margaret Blackledge: I saw exactly what I’ve always felt about Donnie Weboy. What you felt too, whether anyone will ever get you to admit it or not. And I saw that girl can’t protect her child. George Blackledge: And on that account, you expect she’s, what, just going to hand him over to you? Is that what you see happening?
George Blackledge: And when Lorna says no? Margaret, Jimmy’s her boy. Margaret Blackledge: He’s your grandson, George Blackledge. George Blackledge: And your plan for finding them? Margaret Blackledge: Donnie’s from somewhere in North Dakota. I’ll find them. You ought to know me well enough by now. George Blackledge: Oh, yeah. I do.
Margaret Blackledge: I won’t be coming back here without him. George Blackledge: Nope. And you’re going with me or without me? Margaret Blackledge: That’s your choice.
Margaret Blackledge: You’re not coming? George Blackledge: I’m turning off the water. Don’t want to come home to busted pipes.
George Blackledge: [referring to visiting their son’s grave] You don’t know when you’ll be back. Margaret Blackledge: I don’t need reminding. I know what I’ve lost. George Blackledge: Sometimes that’s all life is, Margaret. A list of what we’ve lost.
George Blackledge: We’re trying to locate a Donnie Weboy. He’s got family over in North Dakota. Sheriff Nevelson: I know the name. Not Donnie. But Weboy, sure. George Blackledge: Well, he married our son’s widow. Got our grandson with them. Boy’s only three. We just want to know where they are, make sure they’re safe.
Margaret Blackledge: [while eating at the diner] How’s that pot roast? George Blackledge: Yours is better. Margaret Blackledge: You’re just used to mine.
Margaret Blackledge: [as George buys a bottle of whiskey] Happy? George Blackledge: Happy not to hear a lecture.
George Blackledge: [referring to the gun] You thought you’d need it? Margaret Blackledge: I didn’t want to find out I did and not have it. George Blackledge: Christ, Margaret. Was this going to be part of your argument? Margaret Blackledge: George, I would never… George Blackledge: It’s got bullets in it.
Margaret Blackledge: We’re also hoping you might recommend a hotel in town for the night. Any place clean. Sheriff Nevelson: Well, if clean’s the priority, my Sally keeps the jail here. Cells are empty. And we got fresh sheets. Not sure what feelings you got on it. Margaret Blackledge: We’d be right at home.
Sheriff Nevelson: You think they’re trying to run? George Blackledge: No, not that I know. But they did take off in a hurry. Forgot to say goodbye. I’m just looking to give her that. Let her say goodbye.
George Blackledge: [referring to the preacher on the radio] Turn it back on if you want. Margaret Blackledge: Sounds like your daddy. Thumping his Bible. George Blackledge: Wasn’t just Bibles he thumped.
George Blackledge: Any idea who we might ask to find Donnie, if we went to Gladstone? Tucker: You let it be known you’re looking for a Weboy, they’ll find you.
Margaret Blackledge: You’re with me on this, right? George Blackledge: Who’s been doing the driving? Margaret Blackledge: You could say you want him back. I haven’t heard that yet. George Blackledge: We’re not young, Margaret. Margaret Blackledge: Well, we’re not old. George Blackledge: We’re not young.
Margaret Blackledge: You saying you don’t miss him? George Blackledge: I’m saying that he’s not even in school yet. Hasn’t had measles or rode a bike. He’s young. And we’re not.
George Blackledge: And when you finally learn that what you want to make happen isn’t going to happen, what then, Margaret Meloy? Margaret Blackledge: Well, then I suppose I’ll learn what I’ve never been able to. Isn’t that what you’ve always told me? Over and over. That I don’t know when it’s time to call it quits. George Blackledge: And I’ll be the one gets the job of picking up those pieces, huh?
Peter Dragswolf: [referring to Margaret as she rides his horse] Maybe the horse belongs to her. George Blackledge: Near about every horse does.
Margaret Blackledge: [to Peter] I used to ride. George Blackledge: She’s being modest with you. Margaret Blackledge: I used to break horses. With our son. James. Then he died. And I guess I lost my appetite for it. I haven’t kept animals in quite a while. It’s nice to spend some time with a sweet one like yours.
George Blackledge: Where were you before? Peter Dragswolf: Indian school, sir. George Blackledge: You don’t have to call me “sir”. “George” will do the job. Margaret Blackledge: You finished that school? How old are you? Peter Dragswolf: I don’t bother anybody. You know, if somebody comes for the horse, they can have him back. The skins I sell, those animals I catch. The fish are free, and I don’t steal. I mind my own business.
George Blackledge: [referring to Jimmy] He’s with a man named Donnie Weboy. You ever heard of him? Peter Dragswolf: No. No, but if you’re looking in Gladstone, look for Bill Weboy. George Blackledge: You think he’d help us? Peter Dragswolf: Help, maybe. But go careful.
Margaret Blackledge: If you’re a Weboy, we’re family, after a fashion. Bill Weboy: How do you figure that? Bill Weboy. A cousin, are you? Margaret Blackledge: Oh. Could be, but probably not exactly. Our former daughter-in-law married a Donnie Weboy. He’s stepdad to our grandson now. That’s pretty tangled up, isn’t it? Bill Weboy: Family usually is.
Margaret Blackledge: We thought we’d pay a visit, see our grandson Jimmy, since we’re in the neighborhood. Bill Weboy: Since you’re in the neighborhood.
Margaret Blackledge: You heard we were coming, did you? Bill Weboy: I did. I did. A little birdie flew over here ahead of you. Cheep, cheep, cheep… George Blackledge: Are they here or not? Bill Weboy: Is he always like that, in a big old hurry? Margaret Blackledge: My husband likes to get down to business. Bill Weboy: Hell of a lot of men are like that. Can’t wait to get where they’re going. Women, in my experience, would as soon take their time. Enjoy the ride, so to speak.
George Blackledge: [referring to Bill] You don’t want this man’s help. Margaret Blackledge: We can’t do this on our own.
Bill Weboy: [invites George and Margaret to the Weboy ranch] My sister-in-law wants to meet you. She wants to swap some old grandpa and grandma stories. And between you and me, she’s a hell of a cook.
Bill Weboy: [as George is following them in his truck to the Weboy ranch] Pretty bird, that old jalopy won’t have trouble keeping up, will it? Margaret Blackledge: You’re looking in the mirror often enough. You can see where he is. Bill Weboy: I guess he just don’t want you to get too far out of his sight. Which I understand.
Bill Weboy: You strike me as the kind of woman men are always asking permission of. Margaret Blackledge: An expert, are you? Bill Weboy: I’ve been around more than a few women who want men to ask before drawing a breath.
Margaret Blackledge: How much further is it? Bill Weboy: Uh, “Farther”. “How much farther is it?” Or do you mean how much more of me do you have to put up with?
Bill Weboy: You know, Donnie never asked me for a word of advice in his life. Margaret Blackledge: You don’t say. Bill Weboy: And if he had, I would’ve told him to do exactly what he’s done. “Marry yourself a widow, Donnie. You’ll be getting a grateful woman.”
Blanche Weboy: [after she’s told them about her family] I suppose you could tell a story not a hell of a lot different, am I right? About family, hardships, sacrifice, blood.
George Blackledge: We came to see our grandson. Blanche Weboy: You mean you didn’t come here to eat my pork chops? [the Weboys laugh] George Blackledge: If you brought us all the way out here for the sake of a joke… Blanche Weboy: Lorna said you were rough bark. And I can see already you’re no day at the races. No, ma’am.
Bill Weboy: [referring to Lorna] She’s working at Monkey Ward. Margaret Blackledge: We could’ve seen Jimmy and Lorna in Gladstone? Blanche Weboy: Oh, now I am feeling insulted by you. You really don’t give a damn about sharing a meal. Margaret Blackledge: I just meant… Blanche Weboy: Or maybe you’re a Jew. Maybe you can’t eat pork chops. Oh, breathe easy. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t be insulted. Eat my chops, or don’t.
Margaret Blackledge: [refering to Lorna and Donnie’s wedding] You weren’t invited? Blanche Weboy: You recollect seeing us there? Margaret Blackledge: And that’s our fault? Blanche Weboy: You didn’t stop to think to yourselves, “He must’ve come from somewhere. Must have family.” Margaret Blackledge: Frankly, we thought only that Donnie was a grown man.
Blanche Weboy: Your son’s dead. It’s understandable you forget. We’re never really done raising them. Teaching them the right way. It’s why I had to bring my boy home. To keep an eye on him. Your boy’s perfect now. It’s not really fair to compare him and Donnie. Margaret Blackledge: I wouldn’t ever compare Donnie to our son.
Blanche Weboy: [referring to Donnie] Yeah, he said that you two don’t approve. George Blackledge: I’m surprised to hear he gives a damn what we think. He couldn’t be bothered to tell us they were leaving. Blanche Weboy: My boy doesn’t have to answer to you. George Blackledge: No, he does not. Margaret Blackledge: And we don’t have to answer to you. Blanche Weboy: [laughs] Woh. We better get some food in our bellies before this get together turns into a real blood feud.
Bill Weboy: [as Margaret, with Jimmy in her arms, slowly backs towards the door] Easy now, Grandma. You know who makes the rules around here.
Blanche Weboy: [after Margaret’s reluctantly let go of Jimmy] Well, now you know where to find us, you’ll have to visit more often. George Blackledge: We thank you, but we’ll be on our way.
Bill Weboy: You know, she won’t say so, but I can tell, you running off like this, you hurt Blanche’s feelings. Margaret Blackledge: Her feelings? We’ve come all this way to see Jimmy, and she gives us two minutes time to visit with him. George Blackledge: Go back inside, Mr. Weboy. Bill Weboy: Why was your car locked?
George Blackledge: What are you doing out here? Bill Weboy: Damned if I know.
Lorna Blackledge: [as George and Margaret come to see Lorna at work] I didn’t think you’d just go home. Margaret Blackledge: I’m like a bad penny.
Margaret Blackledge: Let Jimmy come back with us. Not just to visit. I mean for good. Lorna Blackledge: You want me to give Jimmy to you? Want me to give up my son? Margaret Blackledge: You know he’d have a good home, one he knows, one he remembers. Lorna Blackledge: Stop.
George Blackledge: Lorna. We came to help. Whatever the situation is. Jimmy can’t stay there. Can’t stay here. Lorna Blackledge: He needs his mother. Margaret Blackledge: Then come with us. You and Jimmy. We’ll take care of you. Live with us, like before.
George Blackledge: You come and stay with us. Lorna Blackledge: [referring to Donnie] He’d kill me. Him and his mother. She couldn’t care less if I fell off the face of the earth really. But she’d never let me go. Or Jimmy. Donnie got away from her once. She’s never going to let that happen again. I don’t want Jimmy to grow up like them. I don’t want him to be like them. Margaret Blackledge: Then you know what’s right.
Margaret Blackledge: [after Lorna agrees to meet them later to leave with Jimmy] I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but… Lorna Blackledge: I don’t think we’ve ever seen eye to eye. Margaret Blackledge: Well, we will. Lorna Blackledge: You’re just saying that to make sure that I go with you.
Margaret Blackledge: Jimmy needs his mother. You could’ve used one too. I could’ve been that to you. I should’ve been. But I wasn’t. Lorna Blackledge: It’s okay. Margaret Blackledge: I’m sorry, Lorna. I should’ve been much more to you. [Lorna embraces Margaret]
George Blackledge: [to Margaret] Don’t start what you can’t finish.
Margaret Blackledge: [referring to her horse, Strawberry] I wanted to send her on her way with happy memories. George Blackledge: I’m sorry. Margaret Blackledge: Sorry? Why? George Blackledge: I made you sad. That’s not what I wanted. Margaret Blackledge: You didn’t make me sad, George. George Blackledge: What I wanted is to tell you what sticks with me. Strawberry and you. This woman I married but can’t figure. Who doesn’t believe there’s any world but this one, but still believes a horse has got a soul somehow. That’s the gal for me.
Blanche Weboy: See, you think you can gang up on Lorna. But when it’s done to you, it’s a different story. Margaret Blackledge: What are you talking about? Blanche Weboy: Oh, is that what you’re going to do? Pretend like you two didn’t jump Lorna at work? Shame on you. Shame on both of you. Badgering and bullying her to give up her boy. You’re lucky Lorna doesn’t have a little mama grizzly in her. Come between that kind of mama and her baby, you’re fixing to get your hand bit, or worse than.
Blanche Weboy: It’s no wonder Lorna don’t want to go with you. Big bull-hen. Thinking you know what’s best for everybody. Pecking you to death, no doubt. Margaret Blackledge: I never said she shouldn’t marry Donnie. Blanche Weboy: I never said you did.
Margaret Blackledge: He hit the boy. I saw you, across the street from the grocery. Blanche Weboy: Is that what all this fuss is about? Grandma, are you going to tell me you didn’t paddle your own, huh? Not ever? Margaret Blackledge: He hit Lorna too.
Blanche Weboy: [to Donnie] You hit your wife? Margaret Blackledge: I saw him. Blanche Weboy: How did he do it? Margaret Blackledge: With his hand. Blanche Weboy: [laughs] Alberta Einstein. Yeah, I know with his hand. I’m asking how. Like… [she slaps Donnie] Blanche Weboy: Hm? Was it like that?
Blanche Weboy: Donnie, how did you do it? How was it? Margaret Blackledge: It was harder. Blanche Weboy: Harder? Like… [she slaps Margaret hard in the face]
Donnie Weboy: [Blanche gives Donnie a hatchet] What do you want me to do? Blanche Weboy: You make sure he can’t pull a gun on us again.
Bill Weboy: [after George’s fingers are hacked with a hatchet] Well, he won’t be shooting for a while. Blanche Weboy: Maybe you understand my family now.
Gladstone Sheriff: You wore the badge once. Margaret Blackledge: He wore it over thirty years. Gladstone Sheriff: Well, then you know how the law works. George Blackledge: I have a fair idea I know how it works here.
Gladstone Sheriff: Blanche explained that things got a tad rough persuading you to set your weapon down. Margaret Blackledge: They chopped his hand off! Gladstone Sheriff: Yeah. Well, the way they tell it, you two, you came here looking to take a child away from his mother. First with talk, well, threats. And then a gun.
Gladstone Sheriff: You know, and Blanche, she expressed real concern about how accidents follow your family. She fears for that little one she’s looking after now. How the longer you two stick around, the chances of something happening to him, well, those chances, they just keep creeping up. I don’t even want to contemplate what a tragedy that would be. There’s nothing smaller in this world than a kid’s casket. George Blackledge: Get out.
Gladstone Sheriff: But, you know, if I were giving out advice… George Blackledge: You can save that. Gladstone Sheriff: Well, see, I’m thinking of your grandson here. He’s a Weboy now. It’s best you put Gladstone behind you. Just as quick as you can.
George Blackledge: [as Margaret takes them to Peter’s place] Where in the hell are we?
Peter Dragswolf: So what will you do? Margaret Blackledge: I don’t know. Peter Dragswolf: Well, I heard what them Weboys done to you. Except I didn’t know it was you. Margaret Blackledge: What did you hear? Peter Dragswolf: Well, that they chopped somebody’s arm off.
Margaret Blackledge: Why do you live all the way out here then? All alone. It’s not where you’re from. Peter Dragswolf: Because I ran away from that school in Bismarck. The government agents came into the house when I was eight. They took me and put me in their truck. You know, I thought I did something wrong, and that my mother didn’t want me anymore. But then I could see she was crying. All the mothers were. Margaret Blackledge: You were eight? Peter Dragswolf: They cut my hair off. And washed me in kerosene. And beat me. To kill the Indian inside. I guess they did. So when I came home, I couldn’t understand my grandmother’s words anymore.
Peter Dragswolf: If I don’t belong anyplace, here is fine. Margaret Blackledge: You picked a good spot. But it’s not good to be alone. Peter Dragswolf: I’m not alone. I’m talking to you.
George Blackledge: [to Margaret] You’re finished now. You just don’t know it. You really want us to live out here, in the middle of nowhere, with a Indian boy, and a lost horse? Just so you can, what, drive into town every now and again, try and catch a peek at Jimmy? You’ll follow him to school, and hope time untwists a sour mind and Blanche Weboy lets you hold him again for longer than thirty seconds time? When they come again, hack off another couple pieces, or they start taking pieces of you, if there’s anything left once you’re done tearing yourself apart? What then? And when they hurt Jimmy? And they will, just for spite. How you going to feel then?
George Blackledge: Jesus Christ, Margaret! When are you going to stop torturing yourself? Margaret Blackledge: I tried. I’m sorry. I tried, George. George Blackledge: I know. Margaret Blackledge: [crying] But I couldn’t save him. God help me. We lost them both.
George Blackledge: [after he sneaks into the Weboy house] You want to go back to Dalton? You and Jimmy? You have to decide. Go or stay. Donnie Weboy: Lorna, ple… George Blackledge: Not you. You don’t get to say a goddamn word. This is up to her. You know what life will be. Here or there, you know. This isn’t something you need to think on. Lorna Blackledge: I’ll go.
George Blackledge: [to Lorna] Just go. Quiet as you can. Take the front door. Then you run like hell.
Blanche Weboy: Give the boy to me, old man! No one gets hurt. [George suddenly throws Jimmy to Lorna and Blanche shoots George]
George Blackledge: [after she finds George wounded in the Weboy house] Jimmy. Where’s Jimmy? Margaret Blackledge: He’s safe, George. With Lorna. And Peter. They’re waiting for us. George Blackledge: Blanche? Where is she? Margaret Blackledge: I don’t know. I don’t know. We have to go.
George Blackledge: Just go. Go. Get out. Margaret Blackledge: Not without you.
Blanche Weboy: [after she’s shot George again] Why? Why?! [Margaret grabs the shotgun] Blanche Weboy: You! You go to hell! [Margaret shoots her]
Margaret Blackledge: [whisers to George as he dies] George, remember, I love you. [then Margaret, Lorna with Jimmy, and Peter watch Weboy house burn]
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