A Perfect World (1993)
September 21, 2022 7:03 PM - Subscribe

Butch (Kevin Costner), an escaped state prisoner from a Texas jail, kidnaps Philip (T.J. Lowther), a young, impressionable boy. As they embark on a trip across the American Southwest together, a surprising bond grows between the convict and his captive, even as law enforcement forces slowly catch up with them. An honorable Texas Ranger, Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood), understands Butch has a heart of gold, but must pursue him anyway out of duty to the law and a desire to protect the child.

Also starring Laura Dern, Bradley Whitlock, and Bruce McGill.

Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by John Lee Hancock.

79% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Showtime and Paramount Plus. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total)
 
For me, this is the second-best Eastwood film. It's lumpy and unfocused next to Unforgiven, but Kevin Costner's Butch is the best acting he ever got to do. He's a singular character, surprising even as he's so clearly delineated that everything he does and says is inevitable.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:05 PM on September 21


I remember really liking this one. Haven’t seen it in forever, but I remember recommending it to people at the time.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:46 PM on September 21


Holy God I can’t believe this is 29 years old.

I rewatched it a few years ago and I felt like it stood up really well. I loved the opening scene with Costner’s character with the white shirt on the bright green grass, looking perfectly relaxed, paired with the reveal later on that his shirt is bloodstained and he’s been fatally hot. That framing device would probably seem overwrought to me if I saw it in 2022, but I think it hadn’t been played out in 1993.
posted by skewed at 7:55 PM on September 21


Costner is such a fantastic choice for this role, as the whole point of the film is essentially that even damaged, dangerous men were once innocent boys once, and part of that has to still be in there. The classic way to cast this part would be to put someone in the role who is unsettling and then have them reveal hidden depths. Instead, they went with sincere, forthright Costner and the weird balance of him being sincere and dangerous is that much more riveting.

Costner is a lot like Eastwood, in that he's solid actor but a great movie star, and he understands his abilities, his limitations, and most of all his iconography and how to manipulate it to great effect.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:27 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


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