The Proposition

on May 05, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
A 19th-century Australian sheriff (Ray Winstone) strikes a questionable deal with an outlaw (Guy Pearce) in order to see justice done. But things don't work out as expected in this glossy morality play, which has been art-directed to within an inch of its life. The film's plot, which sees said criminal go after one of his brothers in order to save the life of another brother, is rife with dramatic possibilities. However, director John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave (of the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), replicating their gorgeous, graphic and empty futuristic prison drama "Ghosts...of the Civil Dead," go over the top here, too. The movie's violence is choreographed to a fault, its performances (save Winstone's) are self-consciously stylized, and even the flies crawling over people's shirts are photographed oh so prettily. When it comes to condemning the ancient Western code of violence, this film should practice what it preaches. Starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Emily Watson and John Hurt. Directed by John Hillcoat. Written by Nick Cave. Produced by Chris Brown, Chiara Menage, Jackie O'Sullivan and Cat Villiers. A First Look release. Drama. Rated R for strong grisly violence, and for language. Running time: 104 min
Tags: Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Emily Watson, John Hurt, John Hillcoat, Nick Cave, Chris Brown, Chiara Menage, Jackie O'Sullivan, Cat Villiers, First Look, Drama, violence, photographs, Australian, outlaw, brothers

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