Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Young Ones, (Bad Land: Road to Fury) movie

The Young Ones, directed by Jake Paltrow is a western science fiction movie released in 2014 but which just came out on Netflix.  We watched this Irish South African production last night and really enjoyed the spaghetti western with a twist flavour.  Placed in the future after a drought farmers struggle with the lack of water and the high cost of irrigation. I thought the movie was about the American Mid West. It has that John Steinbeck 30’s barrenness about it.  Characterization is its strength.  The young rebel without a cause character takes the old man with an achilles heal’s land and daughter. But his son sees through the deceit.  A classic Western of the  Louis L’Amour genre unfolds.  It’s a Shakespearean plot.  But the robot that replaces the donkey keeps the whole show grounded in the future. I loved the robot wagon.  The injured mother is further able to walk because of modern robotic assistance. But the gun is an over and under, rifle and shot gun, not dissimilar to one I’ve owned myself.  Laura and I were mesmerized by the movie, loving it to the inevitable but twisting intriguing end.
Nicholas Hoult  plays Flem Lever the motorcycle riding woman’s man bad guy with a gift for character transformation like that of Jack Nicholson.. He starts out as a misguided youth and evolves to a truly psychopathic character whose reasoning and words are so believable yet not.
Elle Fanning plays the daughter, Mary Holms in a totally believable way.  Early her character is so down to earth and adolescent it holds together the family that is spiralling out of control with events of the day. But her tour de force performance  in the ending shows a grit as great as Nicole Kidman’s frontier women portrayals.
Michael Shannon plays the father Ernest Holm, whose achilles heel is alcohol. It’s cost his wife her legs but she still loves him deeply.  It will be his undoing but he tries desperately to fight against this disease, his personal demon, in a quiet wholly believable way.
Aimee Mullins plays the mother Katherine Holms.  Despite her invalidism and the futuristic high tech solution she comes across as almost saintly.  Amazing personal actress.
Kodi Smit-McPhee plays the son Jerome Holm and is quite simply amazing.  He is the movie. His characterization and transformation and Hitchcock surprise developments and twists make this a movie of all time. He is like a young Laurence Olivier or Richard Burton. A man for all seasons.  Still waters run deep.
The rest of the cast were excellent and the unHollywood European pace was superb.  The stark otherworldliness of Giles Nuttgens cinematography will probably haunt me.

Jake Paltrow is a great writer.      

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