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      Winter in the Blood

      2013 1h 38m Drama List
      67% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 74% Audience Score 100+ Ratings Virgil wakes up in a ditch and begins a series of inebriated encounters with the mysterious Airplane Man. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Winter in the Blood

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (12) Critics Reviews
      Mark Olsen Los Angeles Times The story captures a slipstream of memory and regret, interweaving past and present and what might be happening in Virgil's mind as he reflects on lost family and lost chances. Oct 30, 2014 Full Review Katie Walsh The Playlist "Winter in the Blood" portrays an often overlooked modern Native American life, and via the prose of James Welch, the film takes an unflinching and realistic look at some of the troubles that this community. Rated: B Aug 23, 2014 Full Review Nick Schager AV Club Cursed with a vague, rambling script and an equally indistinct lead performance, the film is a scattershot series of vignettes about self-definition that, ultimately, never coheres into a lucid whole. Rated: C Aug 21, 2014 Full Review Nicholas Bell Though the narrative meanders and often feels too elliptical for its own good, the film is a character piece delivered as a languid tone poem, life as a bramble weed drifting simultaneously to freedom and trouble. Rated: 3/5 Sep 6, 2019 Full Review Andrew Lapin The Dissolve At the end of Winter In The Blood, there's a general sense that not everything the Smiths attempted has worked, but it's hard to separate the strong moments from the weak ones Rated: 3.5/5.0 Aug 20, 2014 Full Review Jamie S. Rich Oregonian Spencer has lots of potential star power. The truth of his performance provides the emotional core of this well-told drama. Rated: 3/5 Apr 16, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (4) audience reviews
      Audience Member I simply adored the book and I loved the cast they picked for this film, so yes...I have been itching to see this movie what seems like years (actually...I think it has been years since they first announced they were making the film)!! It's been a long time coming and I couldn't find any cinemas near me that were playing this film, so I had to wait until it went to Netflix or DVD. It finally arrived on Netflix a while back during big scary classes that I had limited free time. This movie has been eluding me for so long!! Was the wait worth the time? YES, YES, and more yes! I adored this film!! It certainly did right by the book for sure. There were a few slow spots, but the rest of the film made up for those tiny hiccup moments. The acting was fabulous, the screen-writing was on key, and the costumes fit the location/time period. Okay...I am biased, because I am a huge Chaske Spencer fan. Hahaha can't help myself. ^_^ This is a movie that is quiet, but filled with such drama. Poor Virgil. Was he a great man? No, he is extremely flawed and sometimes plays the anti-hero in the film. That is why I like the story...he is no hero, just a man trying to live his life and get over his past. WHICH, in the book the character was unnamed, but I am glad they named him in the film. Virgil is a perfect name for this character. Pretty ironic and symbolic. Fantastic name choice. But it sure did make me feel feelings and made me want to reread the book really bad. I also want to re-watch it!! THE FEEEEEEEELLLLLLSSSSSS! I can't say much else without giving away major spoilers. I do recommend reading the book first and then watching, but it really doesn't matter since the filmmakers did a lovely job with making it follow the book pretty well. In the end, this was a good meet all my expectations and I am happy! The wait was totally worth it. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes a book/movie that makes them think, but also watch a man find his way through the darkness of life. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5 stars. Re-watch?: YES, YES! I am actually itching to watch and reread! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member #39 Winter in the Blood is a perplexing, methodic film that makes one question everything from the sanity of the protagonist to the resonance of time itself. From the arresting first image wherein we meet Virgil First Raise splayed in a ditch we think we are witnessing one of those elusive hitting-bottom moments, only to be provided the visceral Chief Bigfoot-esque imagery of his own father, John First Raise frozen to the high plains in a palsied death pose. The ensuing story picks at the marrow of those most basic and harrowing themes in the human experience; loss of loved ones, the search for identity, the ennui of an isolated existence (geographically and emotionally), the rage of the other, and the self immolation braided into the twin specters of addiction and willful abandon. Imagery onscreen dovetails with the screenplay and several instances of irrational imagery served to hint at deeper significance in the story. I will write about these instances and speculate the role played by the character, the Airplane Man in relation to the aforementioned themes. Those themes are addressed tonally in the screenplay and more explicitly through imagery in Winter in the Blood. The Smith brothers along with Ken White adapted the screenplay from the 1974 James Welch novel of the same name. Though I haven't read the novel I have read numerous reviews and I feel the scribes have picked up on the gestalt of the work. The use of imagery, setting, and ironic kismet does as much lifting in the telling of the story as any repartee between characters or admissions by protagonist. In terms of textured characters, I was very intrigued by the Airplane Man. From his first appearance as an illustration in the pages of Sports Bonanza as McLeod the lost daredevil aviator as read by Virgil to his grandmother, the air of intrigue surrounding him seems both totally outside of yet fully embedded in the story. The airplane man exists in a liminal dream state, seemingly appearing and dissolving at whim, speaking cryptically and collusively to Virgil like some anachronistic Raoul Duke. With multiple viewings, I became obsessed with the Airplane Man's soundtrack anthem, Ayalqem Tèdèngo by Alèmayèhu Eshèté. The song itself dances on the western ear with an otherworldliness and oddity that matches the ethereal feel surrounding Airplane Man. Despite the alien presence of Airplane Man, he encompasses some of the strongest scenes of connection for Virgil outside of his brother Mose and his father. It's almost as if the Airplane Man is an amalgam of John and Mose as he resounds their lines on several occasions throughout the film. For Virgil, the big white hunter also represents the possible fulfillment of certain abandoned aspects of his childhood. A fishing trip to the Athabasca River in Canada promised by the Airplane Man waivers just out of reach of Virgil, just as First Raise's promise to take his sons hunting to the backbone of the world has become a distant memory dissolving in the rearview mirror of Virgil's drowned recollections. Aside from the strangeness of the character, the Airplane Man also represents a very interesting profile of colonial thought processes and intentions. Embodied in the garb of a safari big-game hunter, draped in the verbosity of conquest, ignorance on full, proud display and totally committed to use who or whatever means at his disposal to push ahead his own agenda. And what is this agenda? He never fully reveals it but we are given enough of his story to piece together a criminal enterprise and something shady he wants to carry (or bring) across a border. The disregard and dismissal of borders feeds into my own perception of him as a force of colonial might. I am inclined to think this character is Virgil First Raises idea of what European and 'Merican cultures would produce if they were to put on a pedestal the prototype of a domineering white male through the filmic lens of an atomic era instructional filmstrip of how to smuggle anything across borders while being sponsored by DeSoto and defiantly driving a Ford Galaxy. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member Intensely personal indie of compelling imagery & feeling, with problematic plotline & editing. about a Lakota Sioux & Blackfeet family in Montana over a generation, in what's basically IFC's private screening room with fewer than 50 seats. Wonderful find on a Friday night. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Excellent movie about a man who can't get his life unstuck. And a good looking movie with lush cinematography, spot-on period sets and dressing, good support from the soundtrack, and a bevy of fine character actors (plus some good new talent). Uncertainty about what is real and what is not enhances a spiritual/psychological journey informed by native American mysticism without leaning on it as a crutch. While they are very different movies, I was reminded a bit of the spirit journey in Jim Jarmusch's DEAD MAN. Plus, it's always a pleasure to see Gary Farmer in a movie - especially in a good substantial role like this. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Winter in the Blood

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Virgil wakes up in a ditch and begins a series of inebriated encounters with the mysterious Airplane Man.
      Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith
      Susan Kirr, Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith, Ken White
      Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith, Ken White
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Dec 13, 2015
      1h 38m
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