A movie directed by Michael Winterbottom and released in 2000. Several folks said that if I enjoyed Deadwood and McCabe and Mrs. Miller, I would also enjoy “The Claim.” They were incorrect. I hated this film.

It’s based on a Thomas Hardy story,The Mayor of Casterbridge, and watching it just served to remind me of all the thousands of hours of my young adult life I wasted on hack writers such as Thomas Hardy in my quest for an advanced degree in English Literature. I somehow got my love of reading confused with my life ambitions and frankly find it amazing that I still manage to retain the former.

The setting looks like “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” and the characters resemble folks from “Deadwood.” That’s where the similarities end. This is a great example of how some folks can tell a story with characters you care deeply about and some folks cannot. Those who cannot should find something else to do for a living before some gelded committee of intellectuals decide they are "important."

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