And what do you think of it? I know Kevin Costner‘s multi-part, big-swing western isn’t doing very well commercially (earned a lousy $4 million yesterday) but it’s a big, sweeping thang by a major-league director, and attention needs to be paid.

Here’s what I wrote after catching it in Cannes…”Horizon Broke My Heart“:

I went into this morning’s Horizon screening totally pumped. I wanted to embrace and celebrate a classic-styled American western, which is what the advance-word crowd has been calling it. I wanted to see Open Range 2: Westward Ho The Wagons. Give it to me, bruh…make it happen!

Alas, it pains me to admit that Kevin Costner‘s big-swing western isn’t all that good.

Costner said during today’s lunch-hour press conference that Horizon “is a journey…it’s not a plot movie.” But that’s exactly what I wanted! I wanted a solid, gripping wagon-train saga with a commanding narrative — the kind of movie in which characters say and do what they must because of who they are and what they need and so on. And that didn’t happen, and I’m all but weeping as as result. Seriously…real tears.

I don’t hate Horizon — it just doesn’t do the proverbial thing, and I feel crestfallen about that.

Costner’s 181-minute film is kind of a mess, truth be told. It feels like the start of a ten-part miniseries, and it just feels odd to be sorting through several characters and locales and situations over a three-hour period and asking “when is the actual movie going to start?”

Because this is a Hulu or Paramount Plus or Apple miniseries with a big movie star (i.e., Kevin), and his Gary Cooper-like character, Hayes Ellison, doesn’t show up until the 65-minute mark and he really doesn’t do or say a hell of a lot throughout the whole film except shoot a crazy-evil guy (played by Jamie Campbell Bower) at the halfway mark.

Maybe the “movie” will kick in when Part Two rolls along in August, but with the exception of a couple of rousing action scenes (my favorite is a moonlit horseback chase) the film I saw drifted and meandered and dragged at times. It does a whole lot of talk-talk-talking and scenery-gaping, and I felt kinda trapped watching all these unfamiliar faces rambling on and on.

Why am I listening to you guys trying to sort stuff out? Who are you? Why should I care what you think about anything? You mean nothing to me.

You know who’s just as good as Costner, charisma- and authority-wise? Luke Wilson as wagon master Matthew Van Weyden. I was also down with costars Sienna Miller (although she’s really too pretty for the proverbial “room”), Sam Worthington, Jena Malone and Abbey Lee (ditto).

At times Horizon struck me as indecipherable and incomprehensible, due to the yokel accents. What the fuck is that character saying…what?

There are too damn many story lines, and way too much “acting.” And way too much familiar-sounding movie music, I felt. The composer shouldn’t have been John Debney, who plays it safe and square and music-cues just about everything. It should have been the late, great Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed last year.

From Owen Gleiberman’s Variety review: “There’s a hallowed place in cinema for multi-character dramas. But Horizon, simply put, doesn’t feel like a movie. It feels like the seedbed for a miniseries.

“Much of what happens is wispy and not very forceful; the film doesn’t build in impact, and it seldom seems to aim in a clear direction. And [this] feels like a major disappointment. As a stand-alone film (which it isn’t, but let’s pretend for a moment), Horizon is by turns convoluted, ambitious, intriguing, and meandering.

“But it’s never quite moving. It’s too busy laying down narrative tracks and hammering out the minutiae of situations that don’t feel like they’re leading anywhere special.”

One thing I was asking myself over and over was “why is the pacing so leisurely and lackluster?” I know, I know — because the foundational basics need to be established before the dramatic urgency kicks in three months hence. But I kept feeling I was suspended in a time vacuum. Nothing seemed to matter much.

Gleiberman: “Just about every Western of the studio era came in at two hours or less, and so did most of the revisionist Westerns (and some of those were complicated). There’s a reason for that. It’s all the time they needed.”