Hostiles. 2017. USA. Directed by Scott Cooper. DCP. 135 min.
In 1892 in the Western Territories, an exhausted and embittered US Army captain must escort a dying Cheyenne chief and his family from New Mexico to their reservation in Montana. Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) is a hollow-cheeked man whose humanity has been depleted by the atrocities he’s witnessed—and perhaps committed—in the feverish expansion West. En route to Montana, the posse finds Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) hiding in the home she once shared with her husband and three children. Murderous natives have viciously slaughtered her family and Rosalie is catatonic, desperately clutching the dead body of her infant to her breast. Everyone in the group harbors a profound hostility and it weighs so heavily on them, with one soldier using 19th-century language to heartbreakingly describe what we would today call depression. Masanobu Takayanagi’s cinematography both celebrates and vilifies the vastness of the American West, with landscapes reminiscent of classic Western directors John Ford and Raoul Walsh. Courtesy of Entertainment Studios.