Set on the banks of a wild river, The River Why is the story of 20 year old Gus Orviston , the Mozart of flyfishing (Zach Gilford, "Friday Night Lights"), who leaves his big city home in rebellion from his parents (Willam Hurt, "Into the Wild" and Kathleen Quinlan, "Apollo 13") to live in a secluded cabin on the banks of a wild river and do nothing but fish.
Instead of finding fishing bliss, his desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self-discovery.
In the process he comes in contact with an assortment of eccentric characters who help him in his journey to adulthood - including a philosopher (Dallas Roberts, "3:10 to Yuma"), a reporter (William Devane, "Hollow Man") and a mysterious woman (Amber Heard, " Zombieland") who will change his life forever.
Most of all, The River Why is a love story.
The love of a man for the wilderness, and for a beautiful woman who comes to share it with him.
"Director Matthew Leutwyler? effectively intercuts the lure and beauty of nature with the fine performances of his excellent cast. (Zach) Gilford is funny and appealing as the awkward Gus. Veterans William Hurt and Kathleen Quinlan are simply wonderful as his parents, creating memorable characters from small parts that could have easily tipped into caricature. William Devane provides some much-needed humor as a grizzled journalist and fishing enthusiast who befriends Gus. Amber Heard (literally miles away from her roles in ZOMBIELAND and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) shines in perhaps the most pivotal role in the film, as the girl of Gus?s dreams. This talented young actress has shown such range in her performances, stardom has to be just around the corner. "
" ...the movie version of The River Why is really good. The film captured many of the philosophical underpinnings of the book. The book leaves the natural world to one?s imagination. Whereas the movie brings the wonderful nature of an Oregon river basin alive. My advice would be to read the book and see the movie. "
-- Jam-Tex : Music, Culture, and History
"The Oregon waters are a beautiful escape. (Director Matthew) Leutwyler may be able to turn any city slicker into a lover of the outdoors "
".... There's lots of time to ponder while fly fishing, even though Gus never has to wait long to get a bite. His thoughts drift to matters of the existance of the soul, God and nature, if killing fish is really a harmless sport, and if he'll ever again see that beautiful girl (Amber Heard) he spotting giving fly fishing lessons in a mall. This is a beautiful film shot in the lush, verdant wilderness of Oregon. I can't blame screenwriter/project developer / entertainment attorney Thomas A. Cohen for holding on to his dream of bringing the book to the screen. I interviewed Cohen in 1989, at which time he had already written the script and was deep into development. I'm glad he persevered. And even though San Francisco native, director Matthew Leutwyler moved on to Los Angeles to become a very successful film producer and director, he came back to helm this production. "
"Producer Kristi Denton Cohen waited 20 years ... and the wait was worth it.
Gus Orviston, 20, leaves his fishing, bickering parents' home to live in a cabin on the river and order his life so that he can fish 14 1/2 hours a day.
Gotta be bliss, right? Wrong. He's soon frustrated and lost. But the right guides turn up at just the right moments as Gus moves toward awareness.
This is lovely, understated filmmaking. Director Matthew Leutwyler wisely lets his camera and his actors, including the eye-popping Wilson River near Portland, (this is one of those stories in which the environment is a character) tell the story. When it looks this easy, you know it was hard work indeed...."
".... It?s amazing how fishing can do so much for one person. For Gus, it feeds him, teaches him respect, returns him to his roots and helps him find love. And love is what it?s all about! From the first time Gus meets Eddy, you know it?s love at first sight....
It?s heartwarming and natural. My favorite film of the 2010 (Heartland Film) Festival!"
GREENLIT - a movie about the making of The River Why as a Green Film
Movie people are legendarily liberal and left-leaning, particularly when it comes to the environment.
Greenlit puts their commitment to the test as filmmaker Miranda Bailey (executive producer of The Squid and the Whale) follows the production of The River Why, starring Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) as it attempts to keep an environmentally friendly set thank to the supervision of a "green" consultant.