Its 1870 and 16 year old Jay Cavendish travels from a privileged life in Scotland to America in search of the love of his life. Rose Ross and her father had to leave their croft in Scotland following an altercation with 16 year olds father, Lord Cavendish, John Ross knocks the man to the floor where he bangs his head on a rock and bleeds out. Completely unprepared for the journey across the prairie its not long before the naive young boy needs rescuing. Knowing more than he lets on Silas Selleck offers, for a price, to assist Jay in his search for Ross and her father. But Silas and Jay are not the only ones looking for the father and daughter. A ruthless gang of bounty hunters led by Payne are also on their trail.
This exceptional debut feature film has been directed and written by John Maclean who some may remember from his involvement with the Scottish band The Beta Band and a couple of short films he made with Michael Fassbender who also stars in this movie as the cheroot chewing Silas Selleck a man of mixed emotions. Kodi Smit-McPhee, a budding young actor who can be seen in various films that have included the Hammer remake Let Me In (2010) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), plays Jay Cavendish. We also get another wonderful lesson in ‘menacing’ by the brilliant Ben Mendelsohn as Payne.
|The menacing Payne.|
Starkly beautiful, Slow West (2015) is a brutal film that involves a misdirected love affair that unfortunately leads many to their deaths. To John Maclean’s great credit this promising young filmmaker gives us a movie that percolates realism displaying what the people and the landscape would have been like in 1870’s Colorado. In my opinion it’s a film that demonstrates humanities greed where people are sacrificed, one way or another for personnel gain – some things don’t change. Certainly a western with a difference, unglamorous maybe, but one not to be missed.