National Board of Review: Top Ten FilmsAward details: (details at IMDb)
Disarmingly realistic in its depiction of the realities of frontier life, Heartland is a strong antidote to the cliches of traditional Westerns. This semi-documentary slice of life is based on the diaries of Elmore Randall Stewart about her days on the Wyoming frontier in the early 20th century. It's a strongly feminist statement about a woman raising her small daughter alone and scrapping for a living by working for a shy Scottish rancher. Director Richard Pearce brings an endearing touch to a film that is helped greatly by the dazzling cinematography of Fred Murphy. Conchata Ferrell and Rip Torn star in this small film that substitutes veracity for a high-powered plot.