Lawless is the new film from Australian director John Hillcoat, whose previous film was the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road. Bringing the bleak and strangely beautiful post-apocalyptic world to life with the same stark poetry as the source material, Hillcoat cemented his status as a director to watch. And the last time that he and singer-songwriter-screenwriter (and fellow countryman) Nick Cave made a film together, we got The Proposition, the best western since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. And now they are back together and bringing Lawless to France.
It was just announced that the prohibition era drama would premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, so it is not surprising that it didn't take long for The Weinstein Company to deliver the first trailer for Hillcoat and Cave's Lawless. Adapted from Matt Bondurant's novel "The Wettest County in the World" (also the movie's previous handle, a much more interesting and distinguished title than the bland Lawless) which is about his family's history of bootlegging in depression era, rural Virginia. Lawless is also loaded with not just stars but great actors, including Hillcoat regular and the always welcome Guy Pearce. Take a look at the trailer.
Lawless was already high on my must see list and after seeing a few of those images - Gary Oldman wielding a tommy gun, Jessica Chastain dancing, Tom Hardy looking, well, as tough as Tom Hardy - it only further fuels the fire and has me chomping for the end of August. However, don't necessarily expect for the kind of fast-pacing and flashy action suggested by the trailer. Knowing Hillcoat and Cave's proclivities, I'd say this will be an atmospheric, slow burning, character study of the Bondurant brothers as well as the other themes inherent in bootlegging pictures like money, power and morality. But don't worry, there will be blood and I love the idea of relocating the gangster genre out of its traditional urban setting and placing it in the country. Or county.
Lawless opens August 31, 2012. It stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Guy Pearce.
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