Cut Bank, Mont. is a peaceful little burg, up by the Canadian border, that suffers a pseudo-Coen Brothers invasion in this eponymously named movie.
The place suffers its first-ever murder. And its second. And...
The formidable cast includes Coen stalwarts John Malkovich, Michael Stuhlbarg and Billy Bob Thornton. Oliver Platt, who appears with Thornton in the “Fargo” TV series, is in “Cut Bank” as well. Director Matt Shakman has even helmed a few“Fargo” episodes.
Off-Coen contributors include Bruce Dern, who says more in one nasty monologue here than he did in the whole of “Nebraska” (and clearly relishes it).
Then there are Australian youngsters Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer who play high school sweethearts — and what pass for the film’s protagonists — desperate to get out of the Nowheresville they’ve always called home. That’s what leads, unintentionally of course, to the previously mentioned dropping bodies, each death marking a point at which this film (beautifully shot by “Beasts of the Southern Wild’s” Ben Richardson) gets exponentially better.
Robert Patino’s script, one of those Black List favorites, has some noticeable early trouble with expository dialogue and eccentric, purported Big Sky Country slang. But once blood starts spurting and the old pros take control of the show, Patino’s clever plotting wins you over.
Shakman and company make a few mistakes that the Coens probably wouldn’t, but in the end this as impressive a country noir calling card as “Blood Simple” was in its day.
get them accolades, simple bae!