Saturday, September 1, 2012


 Crime drama

Tom Hardy: Forrest Bondurant
Jason Clark: his older brother Howard
Shia LaBeouf: their younger brother Jack
Dane DeHaan: Jack’s friend Cricket
Bill Camp: Sheriff Hodges
Jessica Chastain: Maggie Beauford, an exotic dancer
Guy Pearce: Special Deputy Charlie Rakes
Mia Wasikowska: Preacher Minnix’s teen aged daughter Bertha
Gary Oldman: Chicago gangster Floyd Banner

This telling of how things were in Franklin County, Virginia, the bootlegging capital of the USA during the Depression era has a lot going for it: high production values with particular attention to detail (except for a few items noted below) coupled with some fine acting and a strong story line.

But all that is mired in blood: this has to be the goriest movie I’ve seen in years as I purposely go out of my way to avoid that kind of thing. I get no pleasure in watching people being beaten to a pulpy mush, of seeing in close-up the blood spurting out while the victim struggles to survive, gasping and thrashing about. But the retribution enacted upon the instigator of the slashing is even worse. And we get to see it in detail.

The point being, this grisly depiction of violence is not just an incidental aspect of the film you could ignore. No, it starts with the very first scene when we see the older brother dispatch a corralled pig with a shotgun. I need not describe the result as cruelty offends most people’s sensibilities. And so it should.
for strong, bloody violence, language, some sexuality and nudity.

Jack shows Bertha his new camera, a Brownie Target Six-20. Trouble is, Kodak only began selling that model in 1946, some 15 years after these events took place.

When Maggie is talking with Forrest her pink bathrobe is on or off her right shoulder depending upon the camera’s point of view, from behind or in front of her.

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