The Salvation

The decline of the Hollywood western runs parallel to the dwindling of Americans’ faith in their own country; filmmakers overseas don’t have to carry all that baggage, which might explain why the last great western, The Proposition (2005), was made in Australia. The story for this Danish import might have been lifted from an old Randolph Scott movie: an immigrant homesteader in the American west (Mads Mikkelsen), enraged by the murder of his wife and child, kills the slimy perpetrator and winds up marked for death by the man’s brother (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the wicked boss man of a frontier town. Screenwriters Anders Thomas Jensen (Brothers, After the Wedding) and Kristian Levring walk a fine line between the classical and the revisionist western; their story is governed by the grubby political realities of the era but still finds room for the hero to ride off into the sunset. Levring directed; with Eva Green and Jonathan Pryce. In English and subtitled Danish.