Whew! It looks like we’ve got ourselves a barn burner here.
The trailer for Lawless is in the wild, and if you’re a fan of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, you’re gonna love this Prohibition-era drama starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy as brothers turned bootleggers in Franklin County, Va., who become outlaw heroes after refusing to let local authorities share their profits.
Here are five reasons to get excited about Lawless, which is premiering—and competing for the Palme d’Or—at next month’s Cannes Film Festival.
1. Handsome Leading Men: LaBeouf bids goodbye to those noisy, Michael Bay-helmed Transformers flicks for the much rawer role of Jack Bondurant, who joins forces with brother Forrest to start making their own moonshine. Hardy plays the latter, a take-no-guff bootlegger who’s ready to protect his family from gangsters and corrupt lawmen.
2. Hot Leading Ladies: Jessica Chastain costars as Maggie, Forrest’s love interest who’s worried about gangsters angling for a cut of her beau’s business, while Mia Wasikowska plays Bertha, a Mennonite preacher’s daughter who falls for Jack.
3. He Can Play Bad All by Himself: He may play Police Commissioner Gordon trying to stop Hardy’s archvillain Bane in this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, but Gary Oldman has always had a thing for baddies (see True Romance and The Fifth Element for starters). Here, he essays the role of Floyd Banner, a tough as nails gangster who’s never seen a tommy gun he didn’t like.
4. You Won’t Forget Him This Time: Despite playing memorable parts in such films as Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Memento, and L.A. Confidential, Guy Pearce has often gone largely overlooked among moviegoers. But it’s looking like a banner year for the thesp who not only stars in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Alien prequel, Prometheus, but takes a turn in Lawless as special deputy Charles Rakes. And by the sound of his menacing city voice in the teaser, he’s not a man to be trifled with.
5. They Don’t Call It the Roaring Twenties for Nothin’: Lawless, which is directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) from a script by Nick Cave (yes, that Nick Cave of Bad Seeds fame), features plenty of action, including brawls and shootouts in the bootlegging war that gets under way. Let’s hope Shia remembers the old adage: never bring a knife to a gunfight, or as someone puts it in the trailer, “It’s not the violence that sets men apart; it’s the distance he’s prepared to go.”