This Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby animated short is both genius and a boring mess. There are many reviews online, both positive and negative, and it is easy to understand everyone’s perspective.
The animation is incredible. Each frame is an individual oil painting which results in a constant flickering of color. It isn’t the best when used to animate humans, especially in an era when one has become accustomed to Pixar, but it is reminiscent of impressionist paintings.
It is a story of a British man who moves to Alberta in 1909 to pursue being a rancher. Really I don’t think he was pursuing anything because the only thing we see him do is sit and read or write, although at one point he walks onto a railroad track and shoots a gun. There are certainly impressive scenes, of which my favorites were in winter when the snow was falling and the stars were out in full force.
The reason I gave it four stars is because, despite the lovely animation and documentary style, the story itself was lacking. There is very little character development and the ending is just odd. I found the short very humorous and therefore the ending seemed very inconsistent.