Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Proposition is a Western set in Australia. Though the only reason you can tell where it’s set is the occasional accent, name-check by character, or the appearance of Aborigines. Beyond those relatively minor distinctions, almost everything else plays out the same; the Aborigines didn’t seem to have a much better lot than black men in the South, and the urge to “civilize at any cost” still strikes the sanctimonious and the greedy. If anything, director John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave’s vision of 19th century Australia is every unforgiving art house Western you’ve ever seen—only much more so.