Slow West

by Toby Woollaston

Slow West is a simple love story; Boy meets girl, girl leaves for America, boy follows girl. Despite its very simple plot I found Slow West to be well paced and thoroughly engrossing. The production is a boiling pot of nationalities; directed by a Scotsman (John Maclean), starring a couple of Australians (Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn), a South African New Zealander (Caren Pistorius), and an Irish German (Michael Fassbender), shot in New Zealand, but set in America … the result is met with a slew of wonderful ambiguities that place the film rather precariously within the western genre. Special mention goes to the Central Otago landscape which is shot with an almost magical quality by Scottish cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Philomena, The Angel’s Share).  Well worth watching.