In this stunning suspense drama, three women (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and Muna Otaru) left alone on an isolated farm during the last days of the American Civil War are besieged by a pair of murderous Yankee scouts.
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Grabs the attention in its opening scene, then settles down with too much exposition and dull setup to ride into the climatic fight between the women and the villainous men for the next 40 minutes, and doesn't quite build pathos while keeping it interesting and energetic. Once it gets into feminist-esque Straw Dogs territory it may be awfully predictable, but it moves briskly. The last 40 minutes are good enough.
A stunning piece of film, from beginning to end. Outstanding performances and deceptively bucolic cinematography are amplified by an unrelenting sense of tension and atmosphere; set against the backdrop of an oft ignored footnote of the incomprehensible realities of war.
Tiny tiny script. But an elegant minimalism. And an interesting point of view. The Proto-Feminism seems to be a tendency in the Neo-Western, and it can't be a bad thing. Brit Marling perfect as always.
I had to rewatch this with subs as I couldn't quite understand the old Southern accent they were using. Way too much slurred words. The film screams feminists, and I love it. No one can blame these women, they had to survive the best way they can. The subtle grittiness and cruelty of the film makes it respectful of its audience without compromising its content. It's a fair pick. Very well-acted and quite powerful.
Not the first film to consider feminism in the context of the Civil War, but I can't remember one this tense and brutal. Something like "The Beguiled" dipped in "Straw Dogs" --this is a genre flick through and through.