David Michôd’s The Rover premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, where it received mixed to positive reviews.
The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw (★★★)
The Rover is an undoubtedly atmospheric and brutal drama set in an apocalyptic future after a “collapse”: the endless bush has telegraph poles on which crucified bodies are displayed from some unspecified insurgency or crackdown and the economy now depends on US dollars. It has something of a surlier, meaner Mad Max, a flavour of Australian New Wave pictures like Wake in Fright, and even something of Spielberg’s Duel
Variety – Scott Foundas
Pearce is fiercely impressive here as a man who gave up on the human race even before the latest round of calamities, and if there are occasional glimpses of the kinder, gentler man he might once have been, we are more frequently privy to his savage survival instincts. But it’s Pattinson who turns out to be the film’s greatest surprise, sporting a convincing Southern accent and bringing an understated dignity to a role that might easily have been milked for cheap sentimental effects.
Michôd’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most critically acclaimed Australian films ever made, so to say that this film was highly anticipated by the film community in Australia would be an understatement. I love the idea of the outback as a setting for an apocalyptic film and the photography in the trailer hints at something special. I’m looking forward to seeing Pattinson in a more gritty role, and am encouraged by the positive reactions to his performance.
The Rover has its Australian Premiere on June 7th at the Sydney Film Festival, before being released nationally on June 12th.