My Own Private Idaho

Watch My Own Private Idaho

"Wherever, whatever, have a nice day."
  • R
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 7.0  (61,742)
  • 77

"My Own Private Idaho" is a 1991 American independent film directed by Gus Van Sant and starring River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, and James Russo. The film is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's play "Henry IV, Part 1" and "Henry IV, Part 2," with Phoenix portraying the character of Prince Hal, and Reeves playing the role of his best friend Falstaff.

The movie is a road trip film, depicting the journey of two male hustlers, Mike Waters (River Phoenix) and Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), as they navigate the streets and highways of the Pacific Northwest, trying to make a living through sex work. Mike, who has been abandoned by his family and suffers from narcolepsy, is searching for his estranged mother. In contrast, Scott comes from a wealthy family and has chosen to live on the streets.

The film is divided into three parts and begins with Mike's search for his mother, which takes him from the streets of Portland to Idaho. The second part of the film focuses on Scott's life and his relationship with his father, who is running for mayor. The third part of the film brings the two characters back together, as they meet up in Italy, where Scott is living a life of luxury.

The film explores themes of friendship, love, and belonging, as well as the struggles of life on the streets, and the desperation that can come with making a living through sex work. Through the characters of Mike and Scott, the movie examines the underlying emotional and psychological traumas that can drive individuals to engage in such activities, and the deep sense of alienation and loneliness that can result from it.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is the way in which it blends elements of surrealism, fantasy, and reality. The movie is filled with dreamlike sequences, which blur the line between the characters' waking and sleeping states. The director creates a sense of disjointedness and fragmentation, which reflects the fractured nature of the characters' lives and personalities.

The cinematography is also notable, with the use of long, lingering shots, and a muted color palette, giving the movie an almost painterly quality. The soundtrack of the film, which features music from Morrissey and other alternative rock artists, further captures the angsty, melancholic mood of the film.

The performances by Phoenix and Reeves are both captivating, with Phoenix delivering a heartbreaking portrayal of Mike, who is simultaneously vulnerable and resilient. Reeves, on the other hand, brings a sense of louche charm to the character of Scott, who is torn between his desires and his privilege.

"My Own Private Idaho" is an intense, poignant, and darkly humorous movie, which explores the complexities and contradictions of human nature. It is a film that invites contemplation and reflection, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who live on the margins of society, and the struggles they face. Ultimately, it is a movie about the search for identity and belonging, and the power of human connection to heal and transform us.

My Own Private Idaho is a 1991 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 77.

My Own Private Idaho
Where to Watch My Own Private Idaho
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (61,742)
  • Metascore