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Lawless

Directed by John Hillcoat

USA, 2012

Cornerhouse, 11 September 2012

Lawless

The story of three brothers, all of ‘em bootleggers, and the stand they take against the federal agent who’s looking to close them down.

All of this taking place in Virginia during Prohibition.

It is an eventful crime film but a little predictable, if truth be told.  There’s a good pace to it, you just know where it’s heading mostly.  You can’t claim it doesn’t hold your attention, mind.

And certainly the graphic nature of the violence is not usual (a lot of blood and gore, indicative perhaps of Nick Cave’s pulp / Southern Gothic sensibility: he wrote the screenplay) and Guy Pearce’s creepy G-man is out of the ordinary.  He is kind of a camp yet latent homosexual: J. Edgar Hoover in embryo, perhaps. Such is his self-denial, it turns him into a sadist.

If you like this film, do seek out Oklahoma Tough by the great, great poet Ron Padgett.  A memoir of his father, I recommend it  here because it is about the same kind of world.  And because  it is brilliant.

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