The Claim

"Good"

The Claim Review


In the vein of Unforgiven comes this moody western about another small town in the middle of nowhere, struggling with its place in a world quickly passing it by.

Central to the story is Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan), mayor of the town of Kingdom Come, Nevada, located on the spot of the gold claim he struck during the 1849 gold rush, some 20 years earlier. Or so we are led to believe. As it turns out, Dillon's claim was given to him in trade -- in trade for his wife and daughter, sold as if they were slaves.

Years later, Dillon is rich, but wife and child have not fared so well. The woman (Nastassja Kinski) is near death from tuberculosis. The child (The Sweet Hereafter's Sarah Polley) is unable to care for her. Stricken with guilt, Dillon turns his energies to penance and taking care for the two women he sold off so long ago.

Meanwhile, the local railroad surveyor (American Beauty's Wes Bentley) has come to town to figure out where to lay his track for the transcontinental. If it goes through Kingdom Come, the town will prosper. If not, it will die. So a hero's welcome is accorded him -- which mainly means he gets a lot of free prostitutes.

In fact, it's in the whorehouse of Kingdom Come that the bulk of the action (so to speak) takes place, with Milla Jovovich taking center stage as the classiest of the bunch (she sings and has a gold tooth). It's tawdry and raunchy, and sadly, amidst all this debauchery, the plot gets muddied and ultimately lost. Much of The Claim's momentum revolves around some kind of animosity building between the railroad and Dillon -- and it makes absolutely no sense. Of course, guns are eventually drawn and bad things eventually happen. Presumably this had more significance in Thomas Hardy's novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, from which the story is adapted. Here, it is all but buried in the snow.

Still, this is a brooding and intriguing movie to watch. Director Michael Winterbottom doesn't do a lot with the camera -- too many handheld and aerial maneuvers that don't fit the story -- but the scenery and the languorous, dreamy walk through Kingdom Come are worth a look. The actors, sadly, seem universally miscast. Bentley feels too modern for the 1800s, Kinski is never credible as the Irish mother of Polley, and Jovovich's hot model looks are as out of place as a television set.

Then again, if The Claim was actually striving for gibberish, I guess the casting choices make perfect sense.

Claimed by fire.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd February 2001

Distributed by: MGM Distribution Co

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 32

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Daniel Dillon, as Lucia, as Donald Dalglish, as Elena Burn, as Hope Burn, as Annie, as Francis Bellanger

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Advertisement
Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.