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Warning you about crappy movies since 2008.

Monday, July 5, 2010


The stars of this documentary about sheep are ... the sheep themselves. They have miles more personality than the mostly taciturn modern-day Montana shepherds who are charged with their care.

Once or twice, one of the cowboys does talk, and then it's an avalanche of expletives aimed at the docile, but sometimes stubborn, creatures. The Chronic Critic, no stranger to curse words herself, has never heard language like this, and she is a student of both David Mamet and Quentin Tarantino.

Other than the occasional string of cussin', there is hardly any dialogue in the film. Just the sounds the sheep make (and, boy howdy, are they noisy!) and the sounds of the sometimes brutal winds at the top of the mountain where the 3,000 sheep have been taken to graze for the summer.

The panoramas are beautiful, the sheep soulful (really!) and the music stirring. But, ain't much of a story here. The sheep, whom we see bleating, walking, running, birthing and nursing, are sweet creatures, but a person can get full-up on sheep footage. Had the cowboys any interesting insights -- or really, anything to say, at all -- this may have been a better movie.

Not until the closing credits do we learn that this trip up the mountain, c. 2003, would be the last time herds of sheep could graze on national park land. We never learn why that is or how the ranchers feel about it. If the movie is intended as an homage to a dying way of life, the filmmakers should have, I don't know, MENTIONED it before the closing credits. Skip it.

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