The Hi-Lo Country | Chicago Reader

The Hi-Lo Country

In New Mexico just after World War II, iconoclastic cowboys Billy Crudup and Woody Harrelson face the rigors of driving cattle, the risks of investing in them, and the dangers of falling for a married femme fatale whose infidelity may determine how much power a big-shot rancher can wield over the community. But a slew of self-important gestures in the plotting and stylization make Crudup's voice-over seem mealymouthed and Harrelson's daredevil swaggering contrived, while ensuring that this story of strained, broken, or reaffirmed loyalties won't have the seductive weightiness of high-stakes melodrama—it's grandiose rather than epic. Stephen Frears directed a screenplay by Walon Green, based on a novel by Max Evans; with Patricia Arquette (1998).

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