The Proposition (2005)
An Australian Western? Sure, and a good one too. It probably should more accurately be called a Souther, since it’s set downunder. It’s bleak, black and violent, but then what would you expect when it’s been written by Nick Cave. It's not for the squeamish and is extremely violent but it's not a horror flick (I hate horror, cut and slash films and don't bother watching them). This is also not simply an American cowie transplanted to Oz. Throughout it maintains its Australian identity and Australian feeling. Forget preconceptions of asheriff standing outnumbered against bad guys, attacks by Indians or the fast draw in the main street. It’s not that type of Western, but it is a bloody good film.
A family is raped and murdered in the 1880’s in the Australian outback, allegedly by the infamous Burns brothers gang. After a shootout, Police Captain Stanley captures Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) and his feeble minded brother, Mikey. Captain Stanley gives Charlie a proposition: if Charlie kills his psychopathic brother Arthur, who is in an inaccessible outback area, within 9 days, he and Mikey will go free; if not, Mikey will be hanged on the next day, Christmas Day.
Jellon Lamb: Perhaps you've read "On the Origin of the Species By Means of Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin. Oh, don't be thrown by the title, he had some most fascinating things to say. Chilling things. Mr. Darwin spent time studying Aboriginals. He claims we are, at bottom, one in the same. He infers, Mr. Murphy, that we share a common ancestry with monkeys. Monkeys!!!
Originally, the film’s director John Hillcoat approached Nick Cave about doing the soundtrack for a Western. Eventually he asked if Cave would write the screenplay as well. Cave finished it in 3 weeks.