The Proposition: Updated

Way back in October of 2016, right around the 10th anniversary of the KMA, actually, I posted up THIS BRIEF POST about the soundtrack for the movie The Proposition.

Back then, based on what I’d heard in the soundtrack, I had every intention of seeing the film. True to my word, here in January of 2018, we finally watched it last night. Nothing like waiting a bit, eh?

What a film. It’s stark, and undeniably of the landscape in which it takes place, in feel, in tone, in mood… This tale of three outlaw brothers wanted for murder holds power struggles, racism, brutality, and the hard life of frontier Australia. Fair Warning: In no way, shape or form is this a film to be gone into lightly. The tension is thick from start to finish. Even the beautiful scenes, the philosophical, wistful, loving scenes are frought with the knowledge that beauty might imminently change to horror. Often, it does.

Written (brilliantly) by Nick Cave, this flick has a great cast with Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, John Hurt, Danny Huston, and David Wenham. All of them play it to the friggin’ hilt. Each character was performed perfectly, though we kept hoping for Emily Watson to be more than she was, here – she is a fine actress and this role wasn’t really a stretch for her. In depicting the times and her role in them, and in making herself the calm heart of the storm, she did it up just right. But still we kept hoping for her to make herself more of a major player, as the story unfolded and she learned the truths around her… Anyway.

Having now seen the film, I can tell you that the soundtrack I heard two years ago (and which I know I must now replay) is so inextricably entwined with the film that it could not possibly be any more perfect. Beautiful, lilting tunes, a capella singing in desert canyons, and old traditionals done just right are bluntly crashed into by raging moments of musical mayhem and volume. The scenes on screen are doubled, even trebled by the force and/or gentleness of the music.

I really cannot recommend this one enough, to all of you. I’m a bit of a tough audience to please, when it comes to films, but I can say without equivocation that The Proposition, as a film and as a soundtrack, will stay with me for a long, long time.

27 thoughts on “The Proposition: Updated

  1. cincinnatibabyhead says:

    OK, here’s the deal. CB is still stuck in his half assed chronological music/film journey (Should be getting out of the 70’s in a year or two). I just started a “snap review thing on newer films that I dig. Because I love this film and because I’m a lazy bastard could I have your permission to use this link giving full credit to you.
    (Listening to Ellington at Newport and Gonsalves is killing it)

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      1. cincinnatibabyhead says:

        Thanks on ‘The Proposition’ front. It won’t be for a while but it’s already ready to go. CB is getting ahead of the game. It’s was a no brainer for one of the better newer movies I’ve seen. I was watching ‘The Assassination of Jesse James’ a few years back and who shows up in a scene singing in a bar. Cave. Total surprise.
        Yeah Duke is kinda up there as one of my favorites. Musician and Human Beings. Thanks for tuning in.

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        1. keepsmealive says:

          Hey any time! It really is a stellar movie and the soundtrack is great too! I’d forgotten Cave was in TAOJJ.

          My Nana told me one time, some time right after WWII, they went down to Detroit and saw Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald together… IMAGINE…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. cincinnatibabyhead says:

            I want to post it right away but going to stick with plan and keep it where i slotted it. Yeah the James flick was pretty slow (I liked it). Then I hear that familiar voice. Liked the choice the director used on that scene.

            If I could time travel it would be a no brainer for the music I would go back for. All that jazz and that era. Yeah I could “Imagine”.

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            1. keepsmealive says:

              I’ve often said I was born in the wrong era – I grew up listening to my grandparents old swing and big band records, as well as all of my Mom’s 50s and 60s records and the 45s on her jukebox…

              Liked by 1 person

                1. keepsmealive says:

                  I was lucky! Of course, that was all balanced out by the radio being on every morning for the weather reports (road conditions, snow squall warnings, wind chill, etc) and the radio set to the local AM country music (that was AM 920 out of Wingham). We heard both kinds of music on there – country AND western!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. keepsmealive says:

                      You bet, born and raised! Moved away but eventually came back.

                      Nothing wrong with a wee bit o’ country, especially the good old stuff, but as a kid I remember protesting it. Of course, I never protested when the radio said the snow was so deep no one could go anywhere and therefore was school was cancelled…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. keepsmealive says:

                      Yeah, I’m happy for the kids too, but then I gotta be the grown up and make arrangements for coverage of them for the day because, chances are that even though the school is closed, we still have to go to work!

                      There is some cool music from these parts, for sure. Same as everywhere!

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. J. says:

    You saw it! Yae! Man, such a great flick… one of my all time favourites. It’s very rare that I see a film these days and talk about it for weeks and months (in a positive way), but this was one of them. Truly brilliant. And your spot on about the writing and cast… and the cinematography and everything else. It doesn’t get much better than a grim Australian ‘western’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yup, finally got around to it, eh? Man, what a film. Wasn’t quite sure what to expect going in, and I think that helped with the overall impression of awesome that I got. Haha yeah they really showed Australia as grim, what a landscape!

      Liked by 3 people

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