There are circles in which Thelma & Louise is considered a classic. A rather modern classic, but a classic nonetheless. In any case, it's now one I've cross off my "to see" list.
Director Ridley Scott stepped a bit off the straight-up drama path to offer this slightly comedic but quite dark tale of two women whose road trip together gets out of control. The weekend vacation quickly turns into a crime spree, and culminates with a fairly well known ending.
Knowing that ending in advance may have partially contributed to a bit of impatience I had in watching the film. I found the opening half hour or so to be fairly engaging, introducing the two main characters and their situation, and leading up to the first incident that sets their trip on an express route to trouble. But then I felt like they sort of listed around somewhat aimlessly for the next hour or so. Some colorful characters were introduced, so the film never got "boring" as such, but it did feel like it was treading water for a while.
Finally, with roughly half an hour to go, the plot really began to escalate. The one crime and the fallout from it suddenly leads to a string of theft, threats, and violence. And the movie just as suddenly becomes a pleasant cocktail of comedy, dark satire, and even a touch of adventure. Without me realizing until that point just what I'd been waiting for, the movie finally became what I'd been waiting for.
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis are an exceptional pair of leads for the film. Both of them have moments of outrageous comedy, tense drama, and even threatening horror. Every moment of it is believable. There's a pretty great supporting cast too, featuring Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and the great character actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Of course, the film also has the star making turn by Brad Pitt. (This is surely the only movie in which Stephen Tobolowsky got billed over Brad Pitt.) He is funny and charismatic, and plays an interesting, likeable/unlikeable character.
It's interesting that while this movie garnered Oscar nominations for the director and both Sarandon and Davis, it was not nominated for Best Picture. I'd say that sums it up about right. There are good things about the film, but I wasn't amazed by it. I'd give it a B-. Not bad, but different in a way I do appreciate.