While interest in Cohen Media Group’s upcoming theatrical slate is doubtless dominated by a certain Claude Lanzmann offering, the company’s forthcoming delivery of Swerve is, at the very least, a minor curiosity, if only because the film’s path to domestic distribution has been such a long-winding one. Having played the festival circuit throughout 2011 and into early 2012 (with stops including the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival), it took until June 2012 for Swerve to be released theatrically in writer-director Craig Lahiff’s native Australia.
It was around then that Cohen Media snatched the rights for U.S. distribution, leading one to speculate that their year-plus-long hold-out has been the result of a strategy to give star (and fellow Aussie) Jason Clarke some time to leave an impression on American audiences with performances in such cachet-granting titles as Lawless, The Great Gatsby, White House Down, and, especially, Zero Dark Thirty. The brute-force, tough-guy persona he’s built up in this series of films would appear to fall right in line with what Swerve — an outback Australian noir that has Clarke playing a crooked, hot-tempered cop — is offering.
The trailer itself, embedded below, is rather anonymous, although a quotation from The Hollywood Reporter’s Megan Lehmann — “tipping its hat to Hitchcock and the Coen brothers” — is understandably given prominent treatment. For a more entertaining primer, take a look at the film’s press notes, which include a Q&A with Lahiff that includes such exchanges as, “Q: Is there a mission to your work? A: To tell good stories with a cinematic style.”
Pulsing with menace, SWERVE, called “seductive and thrilling” and compared to Hitchcock and early Coen Brothers by The Hollywood Reporter, is a modern take on classic film noir. When Colin (David Lyons) happens across a fatal car accident and a suitcase full of money, he soon becomes entangled in the dangerous lives of a crooked local cop (Jason Clarke) and his mysterious wife (Emma Booth). His initial good deed leads to a series of deadly events, and Colin struggles in a game of survival set against the backdrop of the South Australian outback.
Swerve will be released in select cities on December 6.
What did you think of the trailer? Will you be giving this film a chance after seeing some of Clarke’s recent performances?
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