Oscar hopefuls have been spotted throughout the indie flicks of the year, and such is the case with “Lawless.”
“Lawless” is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who take the law into their own hands while chasing the American Dream living in rural Franklin County, Virginia during the Prohibition.
In this epic gangster tale, adapted by Nick Cave from Matt Bondurant’s account of the era “The Wettest County in the World,” the devotion of the three rowdy brothers is tested against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave.
Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”) in an eloquent performance, stars as legendary bootlegger Forrest Bondurant, a man who’s survived so many threats to his life it’s rumored he cannot be killed. Forrest has two brawling brothers – the enforcer, Howard (Jason Clarke) and eager to prove he’s man-enough, Jack (Shia LaBeouf). The brothers are joined on screen by the ever-wonderful Jessica Chastain (“The Help”) as a former dancer and Hardy’s love interest, and the Mia Wasikowska (“Jane Eyre”) who plays a naïve preacher’s daughter whom Jack courts. But it’s the psychotic federal agent hell-bent on stopping the brothers bootlegging, Guy Pearce, who owns the film as Special Deputy Charlie Rakes.
The film is violent, intense and at moments, funny.
While the movie version is a bit different from the actual history of the real Bondurant brothers, I don’t think you’ll mind.
While it may not earn a Best Picture nod come Oscar time, the individual performances from Hardy, Pearce and Chastain will likely get some sort of recognition.
The verdict: The violence in the film may be a bit much, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat. And while it’s far from a perfect film, it’s certainly entertaining.
Opened: August 29, 2012
Director: John Hillcoat
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldmam