On the surface, Lawless, the forthcoming Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, and Guy Pearce Prohibition flick, looks like a stretched-out episode of Boardwalk Empire. Are there bootleggers? Old-timey dress appropriate only for pompous mixologist types? Bad-ass lawmen intent on bringing order back to town? Yes, yes and yes. But there’s something more to the film that appeals to those of us who might night race to the theater for every shoot-’em-up that gets projected: this movie was written by none other than Nick Cave.
Indeed that Nick Cave; he of the Birthday Party and Bad Seeds. But music isn’t Cave’s only forte. In addition to putting out generally stellar records for the past 40 years or so, Cave has been involved with making movie soundtracks (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Road), writing books (the latest being 2009’s The Death of Bunny Munro) and, wouldn’t you know it, writing screenplays.
And suddenly this movie, based on The Wettest County in the World, a historical novel by Matt Bondurant which blends his family history with fiction, becomes more than another hillbilly-bootleggers-gone-wild two hours, it turns into something that actually seemed important to see. At least to the Cave fans among us. And if that doesn’t convince you, well, the trailer premiered just this week, watch below and see if it doesn’t leave you wanting more.