Okay, here's a movie review to tide you over until I finish my next book.
Lonestar (1996) written and directed by John Sayles.
So I admit, I enjoy Westerns, which is why I picked this one up. It has a similar basic premise to Thunderheart (1992); modern day western small town setting, mysterious death, law officer exploring his own past. It worked for Val Kilmer, right?
Lonestar stars Matthew McConaughey and Kris Kristofferson in all of 15 minutes of the film. Chris Cooper is the actual main character of Sam Deeds who just recently returned to his hometown to be the sheriff. Some evidence surfaces that puts into question the events of the past, specifically the disappearance of Sheriff Wade and the elevation of Deeds' father from deputy to sheriff, all 20-30 years previous.
As Sam Deeds investigates this possible murder from the past he uncovers a lot about his own past that had been kept secret by the various townspeople through the years. Unfortunately, this fascinating whodunnit story ends in a startling revelation, not only of what actually happened to Sheriff Wade but also that Deeds unwittingly committed incest earlier in the film. For some reason, this fact does not appear to be a big deal to those involved; almost as if it is an acceptable situation in Texas. Or maybe it's not, but the final scene sure doesn't leave you believing otherwise. Very disturbing, indeed.
One thing that Lonestar does well (and often) is pan transitions. The entire story is interspersed with scenes of past events and the transitions between past and present and present and past are quite awesome. Overall, the movie is really good. Aside from the whole ickiness factor, of course.