Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) is a British man living in the middle of the hot, harsh outback with his wife, Martha (Emily Watson). He has captured two notorious outlaws, the ‘simple’ Mike Burns (Richard Wilson) and his brother, Charlie (Guy Pearce). Stanley makes a deal with Charlie for him to find his even more wicked brother, Arther (Danny Huston) and bring him in, or else he and Mike will hang for the rape and murder of the Hopkins family. Charlie accepts the deal, leaving Mike in jail, but it is not a smooth process on either end, and has many tragic consequences.
It is a very hard film; beautiful but harsh scenery, an amazing and torturous soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and strong, painful performances, most notably from Ray Winstone. There is no hope for anyone. This country will destroy them, whether it the indigenous culture destroyed and seeking some kind of vengeance, the legacy of white settlement made up of criminals or
the harshness of the land itself, there is no hope. I wouldn’t recommend this film if you are feeling a bit down. It’s tough, but wonderful.