Ridley Scott is a director that doesn’t get enough credit. Sure, he did Gladiator which was the more or less a return to form the epic but he’s no one trick pony. I, for one, am anticipating his interpretation of Robin Hood next summer. In 1992 Scott earned an Oscar nomination for a film that people often forgot he helmed. Thelma & Louise looks like a chick flick, perhaps it is a chick flick. But it is also a thoroughly enjoyable film that features two exceptional lead performances. It’s the story of two friends – Thelma & Louise – one a meek housewife, the other a brash waitress who head out for a bit of fun on a road trip, which goes horribly awry.
I cannot think of Thelma & Louise without affection and even though it’s not exactly a comedy there is that subtle feeling of joie de vivre one unearths from it. Much of that comes from the two lead performances – Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. I have nothing against Jodie Foster, but I’d not have voted for her on either of her Oscar wins. I often wonder if Susan Sarandon failed to gain an Oscar because of vote-splitting with Geena Davis. The two women are outstanding in their roles and they do some fine bits of acting off each other. The womanly affection they have between themselves is beautiful to see and its an enduring example of cinematic friendship. A young Brad Pitt makes a showing as an intrepid and possibly dangerous drifter and his unlikely chemistry with Geena Davis is lovely to watch.
When we remember Thelma & Louise we often remember than iconic final jump, and that only goes to show how Ridley Scott put his indelible stamp on this film. But above all else Thelma & Louise’s success lies in its story. Callie Khouri is skilled and manages to make all the outlandish occurrences believable and never insincere. It’s a good piece of writing, and I can turn a blind eye to the horrific Mad Money.
Thelma & Louise is a tour de force for Scott. It’s edited wonderfully, features good performances and boasts a top notch script. It’s fun and sometimes even funny and above all else it’s a good piece of film. Not bad for something that people are prone to refer to as a chick flick.