The western genre is woven in to fabric of American cinema. It has been around for a long time, and has certainly seen its highs and lows. I am not, in any way a western fan, at least I didn’t used to be. My dad loves old westerns, however I always found them slow, lacking in any tension, and filled with too many expository campfire dialogues. But as a movie fan who continually tries to expand my horizons and develop appreciations for all kinds of film I must press on and explore. Recently both the big budget features and the Sundance darlings have seen A list actors hitch up their saddles and mosie down the dirt path to western movie success. Last year we saw Michael Fassbender play a conflicted bounty hunter in Slow West (one of my favorite movies from 2015) and Kurt Russel act the heck out of the town Sheriff in Bone Tomahawk. (not to mention the Hateful 8 and the Revenant) Currently in theaters is Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman.
Next up, on February 19th, is Forsaken, with another star studded cast including Keifer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, and Demi Moore. From the official website:
Kiefer and Donald Sutherland share the screen in this brooding western about an embittered gunslinger who attempts to make amends with his estranged father whilst their community is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.
Keifer Sutherland is no stranger to the Western genre, having several littered through his filmography. As a kid of the 90’s (and being from New Jersey) Young Guns was an instant classic (the acting, but also the Bon Jovi!).
Forsaken earned some buzz and recognition at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, and is listed as having a 2015 release in a lot of places. Also,as best I can tell, this is the first time the father and son Sutherlands have teamed up on screen. That said, this does seem a little more ‘basic’ in its approach than say the female driven Jane or the horror twist that defines Tomahawk. Still, lots of stars and a decent trailer, so we will have to see.
So what is your favorite western from the last several years? Did you see Slow West or Bone Tomahawk? Leave a comment and let’s keep the conversation going!