The period crime drama Lawless was on my radar for quite a while given its pedigreed cast and talented director, but the film rocketed towards the top of my most anticipated list with a truly stellar first trailer. Based on the novel The Wettest County in the World, the film stars Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy as two brothers who become bootleggers in the South during Prohibition. The trailer highlighted some truly badass moments for Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, and I love the aesthetic that director John Hillcoat (The Road) has chosen for this story. A few character posters have gone online featuring a majority of the film’s cast. They’re not the most artful one sheets I’ve ever seen (the photoshop on Oldman is highly questionable), but I’m assuming these will appeal to wide commercial audiences who haven’t yet heard about the film.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The film also stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, and Dane DeHaan. Lawless will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and is slated to open nationwide on August 31st.
Click on the posters for a higher resolution:
‘We control the fear, you understand? Without the fear, we are all good as dead.’ Acclaimed director John Hillcoat (THE ROAD, THE PROPOSITION) delivers a thrillingly vivid slice of American outlaw history in his epic gangster tale, LAWLESS. LAWLESS is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: three bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. Based on author Matt Bondurant’s fictionalized account of his family, “The Wettest County in the World,” the film gathers an ensemble of gifted, dynamic new-generation stars – Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Dane DeHaan – alongside two of the finest actors of their generations, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman. A riveting, intense story of crime and corruption, loyalty and love, brutality and tenderness, LAWLESS is a rich addition to the American gangster canon. In the mountains of Franklin County, Virginia, the Bondurant brothers are the stuff of legend. The eldest, Howard (Jason Clarke), managed to survive the carnage of the Great War, but he returned home unmoored by what he had seen and done. His brother Forrest (Tom Hardy) nearly died from the Spanish Flu that took his parents. He beat back death with a quiet strength and ferocious, visceral invincibility that came to define him. Jack (Shia LaBeouf) is the youngest sibling, impressionable, sensitive, smart. Times are tough and jobs are scarce, but the Bondurants are entrepreneurs and have built a thriving local business by concocting an intense and popular brand of moonshine. But Franklin County’s bootlegging days are about to end with the arrival of Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) from Chicago. The new “law” Rakes brings is lethal and corrupt and will challenge everything the brothers have built and represent. But while the rest of the county gives in to Rakes’ ruthless crackdown, the Bondurants will bow to no one.
As the family rallies to fight Rakes, the fraternal dynamic shifts. Jack’s ambitions and enterprises alter the balance of power between the brothers as he careens into manhood. Dreaming of expensive suits, fast cars and beautiful women, Jack starts his own bootlegging operation, with his friend Cricket (Dane DeHaan) helping him to soup up cars and build stills – even against Forrest’s wishes. Jack starts to prosper, even selling his moonshine to Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), the big city gangster he idolizes. The lives of the Bondurants are soon complicated by the appearance of two beautiful women: the exotic, steadfast Maggie (Jessica Chastain), who brings a secret past with her and catches the eye of the guarded Forrest – and the quiet, pious Bertha (Mia Wasikowska), who slowly warms to Jack’s charms and channels her own rebellious streak. Jack’s confidence however soon trumps his good sense, and the consequences will test the brothers’ loyalty and endangers them all. Determined to do whatever is necessary to fight for what is theirs, the Bondurants take up arms and confront the corrupt forces of the law in a faceoff to determine who controls the wettest county in the world.