Review of “Slow West” at the Sarasota Film Festival

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By: Marijke
This movie is about a 16 year old boy traveling thru the wild west in 1870 to find his lost girlfriend, who the director could have at least made to look like she was also 16 rather than in her mid 20’s.   Plausible enough plot—find a girlfriend, until—in the first few minutes of the movie several unlikely characters arrive, one gets killed and the others disappear for no reason.  This seems to be a theme in the movie that unlikely characters just appear for no reason for a moment without giving any value to the plot or the movie at all, such as in the middle of the prairie or wilderness with unlikely props, i.e. a person in a wooden wheel chair in the middle of nowhere, etc, etc.  People are camped at night a few trees away talking and playing an instrument, yet miraculously  those camped a few trees away do not hear them.  The 16 year old by is stripped of all of his clothes while he sleeps, yet doesn’t wake up while being stripped of his clothes in the cold night.  Wouldn’t you wake up if someone pulls off your clothes and boots in the freezing night?  In total the whole movie and how it was unfolded was slow and unrealistic—perhaps that is why the movie got the name “Slow West”.  The characters were cardboard like with out depth and many of the characters just did not even have a reason for even being in the movie.
All in all the movie —to be charitable, is a 2 out of 5.

For a description of every film’s plot, as well as show times, please go to:

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Slow West
Feature | 84 Min
A 16-year-old boy and his mysterious traveling companion take a journey across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, this 19th century darkly humorous western is reminiscent of the Coen Brothers.
Film Info
Genre: Narrative
English Title: Slow West
Category: Narrative Feature
Narrative Feature Competition
Release Year: 2015
Runtime: 84 minutes
Type of Film: Narrative Feature
Narrative Competition
Production Country: New Zealand
United Kingdom
Original Language: English
Cast/Crew Info
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee
Michael Fassbender
Ben Menderlsohn
Caren Pistorius
Rory McCann
Director: John Maclean
Executive Producer: Michael Fassbender
Produced By: Iain Canning
Emile Sherman
Conor McCaughan
Rachel Gardner
Screenwriter: John Maclean
Cinematography: Robbie Ryan
Editing By: Roland Gallois
Jon Gregory
Production Design by: Kim Sinclair
Music By: Jed Kurzel
Side Note:
Before the writer begins the review, let everyone be forewarned to bring a winter parka so that the icy cold corridors of the theater complex can be navigated.  The theaters themselves are a little more bearable, although it was evidenced that many women who were shivering had to cover up with shawls, sweaters or jackets.  It never seems to amaze the writer, why the corporate world complains about high expenses, yet they refuse to do the intelligent thing and turn down the cost of the electrical bill by lowering the air conditioning to a livable level.  None of us came to Florida to freeze!
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