The Proposition (R)

Drama 104 May 5, 2006
By Rob Nelson
Set in the Australian outback of the 1880s, this is a revisionist Western of the nihilist variety: The title refers to a burned-out lawman's pathetic offer to an outlaw (Guy Pearce): Kill your older brother and I'll spare your younger one. Distinguishing these two killers (Danny Huston, Richard Wilson) in terms of each one's right to live isn't something that the movie worries too much about: Like his characters, director John Hillcoat shoots first and asks questions later, if at all. In a haunting performance as lawman Captain Stanley, Ray Winstone uses his fleshy face in ironic counterpoint to Pearce's gaunt one: The captain is well-fed but hollowed out--his mouth slightly agape, his eyes always a little moist. What actor wouldn't have killed to be in this movie? (Rob Nelson)
John Hillcoat Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Ray Winstone, David Wenham, John Hurt, Danny Huston, Tom Budge, Richard Wilson, Iain Gardiner, Boris Brkic Nick Cave Chris Brown, Chiara Menage, Jackie O'Sullivan, Cat Villiers First Look Pictures


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