** The biggest one is whether or not Alfred loved Susannah. Or did he just see her as a trophy wife?
** Likewise does Susannah really love Tristan himself? Or is she only attracted to the wild and passionate nature of their relationship?
* DesignatedHero: Tristan. First of all, he has no problem making a pass at his brother's fiancée. Second of all, he has no problem using her for sex once his brother is dead - and then abandoning her when he feels like it. Tristan ruins a bunch of lives, which Alfred calls him out on towards the end.
* HarsherInHindsight: When Susannah meets Isabel II, she cheerfully says "we'll be sisters" - since she intends to marry Samuel. They do end up as sisters in law - [[spoiler: when Susannah is married to Alfred and unhappy, while Isabel II is married to Tristan - the one Susannah really loves]].
* HeReallyCanAct: A lot of critics noted that this was the role that cemented Brad Pitt's leading man status.
* HilariousInHindsight: Julia Ormond playing Brad Pitt's lover is very amusing if you've seen her in ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' where she plays [[spoiler: his daughter]].
* JerkassWoobie: Poor Alfred, who is eternally TheUnfavourite. Not to mention the poor guy also has to lose his baby brother, and [[spoiler: eventually his wife]] - all while being looked down on by his family.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Isabel II barely has any lines once she grows up. Her sole purpose is to provide Tristan with children and [[spoiler: die horribly so he can swear vengeance]].
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Susannah's ultimate fate is meant to be LaserGuidedKarma. But a combination of Tristan being a massive DesignatedHero and Julia Ormond making her quite TheWoobie leaves people sympathising with her more than the film intends them to.
* TheWoobie: Susannah loses everyone she cares about and ends up in an unhappy marriage. Take note of how happy she is when she first arrives on the ranch. [[spoiler: Then remember that she kills herself when she has no reason to live]].