Proposing The Proposition

When excitedly discussing great movies with people, I inevitably find myself saying “You have to watch The Proposition. It is excellent” (at which point most confuse it with The Proposal). Naturally, one of the first suggestions I thought of for Movie Rob‘s Movies from a Hat series, was…drum roll…The Proposition (2005).

I must admit, I can’t remember it very well. Just that it was dusty and gritty and brutal. Oh, and excellent. Only fair that if I tell Rob to watch it, I should probably do a catch-up round myself. Which I did last night…

Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) is a lawman (of sorts) in the wild Australian Outback and has one aim: to tame the land. So he captures notorious gang brothers Charlie and Mike Burns, played by Guy Pearce and Richard Wilson respectively. The one he really wants though, is Arthur Burns (Danny Huston), the ruthless leader of the gang. Keeping Mike in jail, he releases Charlie on condition that he will kill Arthur within 9 days. Failing this, young Mike will hang.

Nick Cave always delivers. Be it his screenplays or music. Here we have both. While the story may move along at a very leisurely pace, there is plenty to admire. The lighting, camera angles, scene composition, characters. The works. I’d say it may lean more towards being a piece of art than a movie. And the music. Together with Warren Ellis, Nick Cave composes a superb accompaniment to the visuals.

In my opinion, you are kept on your toes. Trying to figure out who is going to do what and how this is all going to unravel. Because, trust me, it all needs to come to a head. And, a brutal one at that.

Directed by John Hillcoat, this is well worth watching, but, beware…it is violent. Excellent acting, as always, by Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone. Keep an eye out for Noah Taylor and David Wenham as they are not easily recognisable. Emily Watson and John Hurt also star (and likewise are great – as are all the cast members)

Movie Rob’s review for this movie can be found here.





  1. I too share your passion for The Proposition. It is dirty and gritty and superbly acted and looks fantastic. And it has been too long since I have seen it too. Great work in spreading the word! I think Guy Pearce is a fantastic actor in whatever he does and this is no exception

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite aspect of The Proposition was the cinematography, it’s a wonderfully shot film that was stunning to look at on Blu-ray. Like you I also appreciated the work of Nick Cave on both the screenplay and the score that perfectly suited the tone of the film. He also did the score for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which I watched for the first time last year and loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback Paul. I was worried I was the only one who felt this way about The Proposition. I really enjoyed watching it again last night as somehow I appreciated it more this time round.
      I’ve been meaning to watch The Assassination of Jesse James…but with you giving it such high praise, I’ve just put it into my basket with the order I’m about to place – can’t wait. I’ve just remembered that I have the book somewhere here…


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