HELL OR HIGH WATER
With Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Katy Mixon
Written by Taylor Sheridan
Directed by David Mackenzie
One doesn't need to dig too deep under the Texas soil to expose pain of past wrongs (from Native American tribes diminished to nothing, to economic disasters turning formerly regular men into criminals and tearing the souls and life from towns across the range). These elements are in ample supply in this movie, which has two brothers on a robbery rampage across their county, robbing from the bank chain set to foreclose on their land.
Naturally the one brother is calmer, a divorced father and more level headed, while the other is an ex-con, ex-military hothead with a very short fuse. And we know this can only lead to disaster. With motivations and justifications unfurling, the duo is far from home-free as a tired but seasoned lawman (on the doorstep of retirement) and his Native American partner close in on them.
This meticulous, passionate and sometimes intense drama has sudden moments of violnce and action, more realistically depicted than the more glamorous mainstream movies, and while it's not exactly a Western, it can be seen as a modern incarnation of it - outlaws, lawmen, morality, and the dry, sun bleached Texas landscape also playing a character.
If this isn't your bag, but you're a Nick Cave fan, the fact that he wrote the movie's score with Warren Ellis (and a series of country flavoured songs) may prick your interest.
Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Screenplay and Actor (Bridges), writer Sheridan is also an actor and director, starred in Sons Of Anarchy and wrote Sicario (directed by Arrival's Denis Villeneuve).
4 / C
- Paul Blom
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