John Hillcoat and Nick Cave. In the world of movies, these names could only be described as ‘household’ by those in the know about such things, or possibly their mothers. Yes, they probably are better known back in their home country of Australia, and yes, Nick Cave is a critically-acclaimed and famous musician, but it’s fair to say that their forthcoming film, Lawless isn’t going to cause quite the ruckus when it gets released that, say, The Dark Knight Rises will. A quiet buzz has been building though, and I’ve got a good feeling that these guys could be finally getting their due with this forthcoming release.
Lawless (formerly titled The Wettest Country in the World, formerly titled The Promised Land, formerly titled The Wettest Country in the World… again) concerns the three Bondurant brothers and their bootlegging business in Virginia, back in the times of Prohibition. On the other side of the fence, Guy Pearce’s Deputy, and Gary Oldman’s gangster are doing their damnedest to make life difficult for these hardy souls. And Hardy is right, what with Tom Hardy heading up the cast, bringing his considerable talents and status to bear. That’s not all, though, because alongside Hardy, Pearce and Oldman are Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, both respected actresses making names for themselves. The mix of up-and-coming talent and recognised stars gives the film oomph, but the inclusion of one Shia LaBeouf promises some intrigue. LaBeouf has been much-maligned in recent times, the Transformers trilogy not doing anything for his street-cred, but it seems that nobody will forgive him for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s high time for a re-think though, he was perhaps unfairly labelled as annoying, and if A Guide to Recognising Your Saints taught us anything, it’s that there are some real acting chops hiding behind that punchable face.
Back to the guys behind the camera: the successful and well-received The Proposition gave Nick Cave and John Hillcoat status in Hollywood, with Hillcoat directing The Road starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, hopefully this talented director’s career is gathering momentum. Nick Cave’s musical interests have meant that this is his first successful foray into film since The Proposition, but this guy clearly isn’t feeling rusty.
Respected outsiders, then? Noble mavericks? Hard-working creatives content to toil away, giving other, more famous people’s careers a boost? Maybe, just maybe, that’s about to change. With a release date set for August 2012, Cave and Hillcoat might just be about to reach their Promised Land.
Any thoughts, please leave a comment, and if you need further convincing, check out the trailer below: