Most movies involving the wilderness tend to portray animals in a less than positive light. They are usually vicious creatures that attack the leads of the film or provide some obstacle or threat to the arc of the story. But in 1988, acclaimed director Jean-Jacques Annaud directed a film called The Bear based on the novel by James Oliver Curwood and in this film, humans were just background for the real stars of the movie.
Set in 19th century British Columbia, The Bear is the story of a young cub and an adult grizzly bear as they try to survive their harsh mountain habitat. But nothing in the forests can be as much of a threat as their most deadly enemy: man.
The Bear is such an incredibly beautiful film to look at I cannot express it here. Annaud has proven himself as one of the most gifted visual directors out there with films like The Lover, The Name of the Rose, Seven Years in Tibet and Quest for Fire but The Bear may be his crowning achievement. And the result is an utterly compelling film that really makes the audience find themselves identifying with and relating to the bears themselves. Famous Hollywood regular Bart the Bear stars as the adult bear here and if ever there was an animal performance that deserved an award this would be it. Both bears are just amazing to watch here; you really feel as if you are being given a special look into the actual life of a bear, it feels that authentic. The Bear is a spectacular achievement in filmmaking and an enthralling and entertaining film for any age. And this new Blu-ray for the 25th Anniversary of the film is a wonderful upgrade from previous DVD editions. Highly recommended.