Friday, June 19, 2015

TGIF 6.19.15

A really interesting interview article with Michael Fassbender was posted earlier this week at where he speaks about the Slow West filming (my review after the jump), and how he considers the media a distraction. I like his attitude about not paying too close attention to what is written in the media about him and his work because it's human nature to take to heart most of what is written about the individual, good or bad. So the less newspapers he reads, and the less Internet static that he is exposed to, the more balanced and focused he is on his work and life. Michael also admitted that he gets a little depressed when he's preparing for roles in his really dark films, like 12 Years a Slave. As the sensitive and compassionate man that we know Michael to be, this comes as no surprise. Heck, being the viewer of some of his dark films is a depressing experience (I still refuse to watch Eden Lake again). Michael reveals that he doesn't understand why he's considered a sex symbol (look in the mirror brother), and admits that he's a complicated person. Complicated is good, he's no simpleton or a push over.

The upcoming weeks should give us our second heavy dose this year of Michael as he continues to work on X-Men in Montreal and doing pre-production work for Assassin's Creed, which will be filmed in London starting in September.


After volunteering 25 hours for the Cinetopia Film Festival in the past week, I was able to watch six films, and one of them was Slow West.

My snapshot of the theater screen before Slow West started at Cinetopia
In Michael's first Western with director John Maclean, it is a story about an extremely naive, trusting, daydreaming, blindly in love young man, Jay, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, who treks all the way from Scotland to find the girl he loves. Flashbacks provide information about their forbidden friendship, and the reason why Rose and her father had to suddenly leave Scotland for Colorado, of all places. Early into Jay's westbound odyssey, he runs into trouble which would clearly demonstrate how ill equipped he is to deal with the violence of America's wild west. Silas, played by Michael Fassbender, saves Jay from peril and offers his services to escort him to find Rose Ross. Silas is one of a few interesting characters that I thought was a bit underdeveloped - that is, I would have enjoyed learning more about Silas' history which brought him to cross paths with Jay. Silas is an older man, but still young himself, and he is a seasoned killer, but that skill to kill has made his life lonely and dangerous.

Silas is deadly but he has a deeply buried heart that yearns for a better life.
It soon comes to pass that Silas has a hidden bounty driven agenda to help Jay find Rose, and Silas' old posse, led by Ben Mendelsohn as the flamboyant Payne, is searching for her and her father too. There is one pivotal moment when Jay saves Silas' life, and Silas carefully hides his adrenaline induced fear and relief, and begins to think of a life away from all this madness. With his life constantly at risk, Jay has a premonition dream of Rose that reveals his star gazing talent of actually seeing the future. When trouble finally comes knocking on the door of the Ross home, in a unique twist for a Western, Rose is no damsel in distress and has no problem blowing away the ones trying to kill her. Slow West has a slow simmer to it, but at a deliberate pace that does lead to a fantastic shocking shoot-out. The ending is bittersweet, depending on how you look at it - everyone lost something but found each other and are making the best of life in a hopefully lesser wild west.

Michael gives a great performance as Silas and I would love to see him be directed by Clint Eastwood in another Western.

Rating: 4/5 Very Good


The Ekairidium said...

I have always wanted to see Fassy in a Western and your review has made me more excited to watch it myself!!

Hupsakeek said...

After reading your review it's even harder to wait another 6 months before it's in the theater. I can totally understand (and I'm glad) that Michael don't want to read about himself or his films. It could be very depressing,depending on what you read, but I know some dark places he should not wander.

Stephanie Czekalski said...

I'd really like to see this movie!

Thanks for your review.

And it will be harder to wait (like Maryan ;)) release date in France for the moment usual .

Snootiegirl said...

There were several aspects I liked about Slow West. I rented it from iTunes. The scenery was breathtaking. And Michael's performance was nuanced and intriguing. Like you, Simone, I thought more character development would have been nice.

But there were also inconsistencies in the plot that didn't sit well with me. How did Jay know where to look for Rose if she was hiding? How did Silas know Jay was connected to Rose in any way? Or the rest of the gang for that matter? Where did Rose and her father get the money to build the frankly beautiful and spacious--even today--cabin? And why would Rose accept a man into her life who was hunting her down originally and indirectly responsible for her father's death? I understand Silas looking for redemption and more out of life, but I don't get Rose.

Overall, Michael's performance isn't enough of a good thing for me to want to watch this movie again. The too-often coincidental plot points and shallow characters made it too hard to immerse myself and suspend my disbelief.