John Hillcoat directed two of the most tragically beautiful films of the past decade, yet seems to be an almost anonymous name in even the most vibrant of film discussions. The Proposition may well have been the best film of the 2000s, speaking in generalities, and The Road, while flawed, was among the better films of 2009 – a fairly strong year for cinema. I believe Hillcoat’s eye for landscapes, understanding of human nature and interactions, and general editing skill plant him firmly in Terrence Malick territory … a blasphemous statement, to some, but a matter of fact for me.
Lawless may well represent Hillcoat’s pseudo-breakout film, combining the name value of Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman (perhaps the best living actor) with the considerable talents of Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, and Jessica Chastain. While a late-August release is often a kiss of death, it may be the perfect time for a film of its anticipated caliber to hit the big screen, free from the pull of the summer blockbusters. Or, maybe I’m deluding myself into hoping that there will be bigger and brighter things for a director that ‘gets me’ (a delusion unto itself).
Without further ado, check-out the trailer, hot off the presses.