Jane Got a Gun

A genuinely appealing film that the Hollywood prima donnas have elected to ignore. Take a chance and see it before it quickly flees to television.

Jane Got a GunDirector Gavin O’Connor’s Jane Got a Gun rises out of the January cinematic ashes and proves itself to be a very good movie. Three years in the making and surrounded by controversy, there was absolutely no reason to think that this film would prove to be remotely entertaining. However, despite the fact that it is only playing in a few theaters here in Indianapolis, try to find the time to see it. You won’t be disappointed.

To begin with, any movie with Natalie Portman has an immediate advantage. Here she plays Jane, a young woman living out West in 1871 with a dark past. Without giving anything away, Jane sees her husband (played by Noah Emmerich) fall off his horse as he arrives home, only to discover that he has what appears to be fatal gunshot wounds in his back. She knows, and you learn, that a gang of ruthless cutthroats are on their way to find her, and she has to seek help if she and her young daughter are to survive.

The film finds its heart and soul when Jane seeks out Dan Frost, played by the enormously talented Joel Edgerton. They have a past that soon becomes important to the plot, and they become a team that his nearly as ruthless as the desperados seeking to capture her.

The film unfolds with several reminiscences of Jane’s past, and you learn of her association with Edgerton before the Civil War as well as how she met her husband. On top of that, you learn why this group of killers seek to find her, and it becomes clear that Portman and Edgerton have to decide either to kill or be killed.

On top of that, the film is immensely helped by the fact that Ewan McGregor played against his normal character, here appearing as the leader of the pursuing cutthroats. He is unrecognizable in his mustache, and he proves to be one of the most ruthless characters you have encountered on the big screen this past year.

But let me emphasize that this is not a Quentin Tarantino movie where the film is reduced to little more than total violence. Sure, it gets bloody at times, but what you find is two very decent people trying to overcome the tragic misfortunes associated with the Civil War and find a way to connect as a family.

Let me close by saying that I was astonished that this film had so much heart and soul. And for those of you who shy away from any film that focuses on a bit of violence, let me remind you that we live in a country where over 10,000 Americans die yearly from gunshots. In a sense, we still live in the Old West, so set that concern aside and see a film that you are likely to embrace.