YMMV / Legends of the Fall

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • 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?
  • Designated Hero: 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: 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 - when Susannah is married to Alfred and unhappy, while Isabel II is married to Tristan - the one Susannah really loves.
  • He Really Can Act: A lot of critics noted that this was the role that cemented Brad Pitt's leading man status.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Julia Ormond playing Brad Pitt's lover is very amusing if you've seen her in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where she plays his daughter.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Poor Alfred, who is eternally The Unfavourite. Not to mention the poor guy also has to lose his baby brother, and eventually his wife - all while being looked down on by his family.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Isabel II barely has any lines once she grows up. Her sole purpose is to provide Tristan with children and die horribly so he can swear vengeance.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Susannah's ultimate fate is meant to be Laser-Guided Karma. But a combination of Tristan being a massive Designated Hero and Julia Ormond making her quite The Woobie leaves people sympathising with her more than the film intends them to.
  • The Woobie: 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. Then remember that she kills herself when she has no reason to live.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/LegendsOfTheFall