It's 1867 and the remote town of Kingdom Come is controlled by a single man whose mistress runs the bordello and saloon. Newcomers, including a mother and daughter and a survey team form a railroad company, threaten to change the town's fortunes.

5
An epic drama that never takes its eye off the human elements.

Transposing 19th century Wessex to the goldrush years of America's Sierra Nevada Winterbottom and his screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce have loosely adapted Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. Their tragic hero is Dillon, Peter Mullan a man who has gained his wealth in the town of Kingdom Come from an original dishonourable act. His fate will be determined by the arrival of the stagecoach and its occupants: Elena, Nastassja Kinski, who is a sick woman and has come to town to assure the future of her daughter Hope, Sarah Polley. Also on the coach is Dalgleish, Wes Bentley, a surveyor for the railroad company. He has to find a route over the mountains, perhaps through Kingdom Come....Winterbottom makes exquisite films and this is no exception. Visually stunning with extraordinary images of burning horses galloping through the snow and two storey houses being moved through forests, the film has an integrity through the performances, through the script and through the cold, which has such a powerful presence. The cinematography of Alwin Kuechler makes Kingdom Come almost monochromatic except when you move inside, into the warmth of the saloon and brothel for example which is run by Dillon's paramour Lucia - an extraordinarily charismatic performance from Milla Jovovich. This is epic drama that never takes its eye off the human elements. I'm so enthusiastic about this film I can barely contain myself.

 

Watch 'The Claim'

Sunday 6 September, 12:10am on SBS VICELAND (NOTE: no SBS On Demand catchup)

M
USA, 2000
Genre: Drama, Romance, Western
Language: English
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Wes Bentley, Sarah Polley, Peter Mullan, Milla Jovovich, Nastassja Kinski
What's it about?
It's 1867 and the remote town of Kingdom Come is controlled by a single man whose mistress runs the bordello and saloon. Newcomers, including a mother and daughter and a survey team form a railroad company, threaten to change the town's fortunes. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart).

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