The arrival of the beautiful Julia Ormond into a fiercely patriarchal household of three close but distinctly individual brothers sets off a chain reaction that none could ever have expected. In a time of turmoil as the world enters the First World War, all the ingredients are there for romance and drama. But while "Legends of the Fall" is technically well executed, there's a distinct lack of passion on offer here.
Julia's arrival is through Henry Thomas, the youngest of the clan. They are due to be wed but within minutes of sighting middle brother Brad Pitt, she doesn't look so certain about the impending nuptials. But before any such ceremony can take place, the First World War rears its ugly head and all three brothers head off to join the cause including the eldest, Aidan Quinn. This leaves Ormond to live alone with their father, Anthony Hopkins on an idyllic ranch.
It's pretty obvious that not all brothers return and this is where the tale becomes far more complex. In fact the story ends up spanning years of real time. But director Edward Zwick is unable to deal efficiently with all the necessary twists and ends up with a rather schizophrenic film as a result.
This is disappointing as many fine ingredients are inserted to try and engender maximum melodrama. Just like quality loo roll, it's long in duration and strong on technical quality. Unfortunately it's also soft on plot and characterisation. Anthony Hopkins gets some good lines but otherwise everyone else is left floundering in unsympathetic roles that just don't twang those necessary heartstrings to make the audience care.
Read a review of the DVD.