THE WETTEST COUNTY, Starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, Set for April 20, 2012

     November 15, 2011

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The Weinstein Company has set John Hillcoat‘s The Wettest County for April 20, 2012.  Nick Cave (The Proposition) wrote the script based Matt Bondourant‘s novel about two brothers (played by Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy) who become bootleggers in the South during Prohibition.  In addition to LaBeouf and Hardy, the outstanding cast also includes Mia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Dane DeHaan, and Jessica Chastain.  It looked like TWC would be setting the movie up for an awards run, but the studio already has its line-up set with The Artist, The Iron Lady, and My Week with Marilyn.  That doesn’t mean that Wettest County is bad, but it may not be appealing to Academy voters.  Neither were Hillcoat’s previous films, The Proposition and The Road.

Hit the jump for Wettest County‘s competition on April 20, 2012, and for a synopsis of Bondourant’s novel.

the_wettest_county_in_the_world_book_coverThe April 20th weekend is a bit crowded, but not necessarily tough.  The Wettest County will be opening against Scary Movie 5 (a franchise which should really be going straight-to-video at this point), the thriller The House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Shue, the Zac Efron romance flick The Lucky One, and Luc Besson‘s sci-fi movie Lockout, which also stars Pearce.

Here’s the synopsis for Matt Bondourant’s The Wettest County in the World:

Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father’s business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.

White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut — whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County. [Amazon]

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