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Director John Hillcoat and Screenwriter Nick Cave Talk 'Lawless'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 21, 2012 at 3:17PM

At Cannes, I sat down with the director and screenwriter of "Lawless," John Hillcoat and Nick Cave, who also wrote "The Proposition." This gorgeously mounted period adaptation of "The Wettest County in the World," which is palying out around the country, about the real-life Virginia rum-runner Bondurants, is more family relationship drama than actioner. Tom Hardy is the standout as a sensitive but violent head of the family who is more protective mother hen than father; the rest of the strong ensemble includes Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and actresses Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, who shine in underwritten roles.  (Here's more background on how the indie movie got made.) Hillcoat and Cave explain why.
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Lawless, Hardy & Chastain
'Lawless'

At Cannes, I sat down with the director and screenwriter of "Lawless," John Hillcoat and Nick Cave, who also wrote "The Proposition." This gorgeously mounted period adaptation of "The Wettest County in the World," which is palying out around the country, about the real-life Virginia rum-runner Bondurants, is more family relationship drama than actioner. Tom Hardy is the standout as a sensitive but violent head of the family who is more protective mother hen than father; the rest of the strong ensemble includes Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and actresses Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, who shine in underwritten roles.  (Here's more background on how the indie movie got made.) Hillcoat and Cave explain why.

Lawless, LaBeouf
Lawless poster, Hardy
Lawless poster, Chastain

This article is related to: John Hillcoat, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Reviews, Period, Genres, Cannes Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.