The Proposition

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This got good grades from the major critics. It is set in the 1880s Australian outback, mainly in a small town with a despotic mayor and a lawman, Captain Stanley, with a desire to "civilize" the country. Stanley has an English wife, and together they have constructed a little bubble of English gentility in their home and surrounding garden; they are held in contempt by nearly everyone else.

Which would be bad enough, but there's been a horrific murder (apparently) committed by the Burns brothers gang. The movie opens with Captain Stanley capturing two brothers in a bloody shootout at a brothel; he offers to spare relatively-innocent Mike and Charlie, if Charlie will go off and kill the third brother still at large, Arthur. The result doesn't work out well for anyone.

The movie held my interest, but it's unsparingly bleak and the carnage leaves little to the imagination; it's not a chick flick. There are some well-known actors here, but they are nearly unrecognizable, covered as they are in facial hair, dirt, and (often) blood. (Well, except for Emily Watson, playing Mrs. Stanley, who stays relatively clean until the end.)

Last Modified 2024-02-03 7:49 AM EDT