Pssst, want to check out Local Hero in our new look?
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Populated by quirky yet somehow believable characters, and filled with so many brilliant details and moments, Local Hero is a truly delightful film. In particular, I must say that Burt Lancaster's eccentric head-in-the-clouds oil CEO (or perhaps "head-in-the-stars" would be more fitting) positively steals every scene he's in.
Sure, there's nothing really special about the film in terms of its technical execution, but the writing and characters are so good that you never notice that and are just happy to be along for the ride. And even when the film's plot makes the occasional predictable turn, it manages to do so in a way that never feels stale or forced but instead simply timeless and inevitable.
Being a fan of Dire Straits but not being familiar with the soundtrack, after reading the other comments here I honestly expected to notice the music a lot more. Like the rest of Local Hero, however, the score was subtle and unobtrusive—a perfect accompaniment for the quaint Scottish seaside, leaving plenty of space for the world of the film to breathe.
In the end, I have to agree with much of Roger Ebert's review: "What makes this material really work is the low-key approach of the writer-director, Bill Forsyth, who has the patience to let his characters gradually reveal themselves to the camera. He never hurries, and as a result, Local Hero never drags: nothing is more absorbing than human personalities, developed with love and humor. Some of the payoffs in this film are sly and subtle, and others generate big laughs. Forsyth's big scenes are his little ones."
I was introduced to the soundtrack long before the film. I love Mark Knopfler.
Ha that comment about the world you want to be is quite funny to me, only because I grew up near where it was filmed. Shame a similar thing is happening there, except it Donald Trump and a golf course and he's not going to make it into a research centre :(
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In 10 official lists
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This movie ranks #24 in Quentin Tarantino's Coolest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #37 in BFI's Top 100 British Films
This movie ranks #53 in Time Out's The 100 Best British Films
This movie ranks #181 in Geoff King's Film Comedy
This movie ranks #209 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #485 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #528 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #634 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #699 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #1189 in The Criterion Collection