“Cut Bank” is a thriller film, directed by Matt Shakman (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”), due for limited release in the US in April.
Dwayne McLaren (Liam Hemsworth – “Paranoia”, “The Hunger Games”) is a disaffected former high school football star who is caring for his very ill father whilst also working as an auto mechanic for his girlfriend Cassandra’s father, Stan Steeley (Billy Bob Thornton – “Parkland”, “Eagle Eye”).
He has long been harbouring dreams of leaving his small hometown of Cut Bank, Montana (“the coldest spot in the nation”) for a new life in California with Cassandra.
Dwayne doesn’t seem to have any way of achieving his dream until one day, whilst out in the fields shooting a homemade tourism video starring Cassandra (Teresa Palmer – “Take Me Home Tonight”, “Warm Bodies”), he manages to capture on tape the murder of elderly local postman Georgie Wits (Bruce Dern – “”Nebraska”, “Down In The Valley”), who is shot and then taken away in his mail van.
Dwayne and Cassandra take the videotape back to the Steeley home, and they call Sheriff Vogel (John Malkovich – “Burn After Reading, “RED”) who is ill-prepared to deal with the first murder that the town has ever had.
It transpires that anyone who can provide evidence of harm to a postal employee can claim a reward of US$100,000.00 so, having filled out the necessary paperwork, Dwayne just needs to wait for the postal inspector to bring his reward before he and Cassandra can leave town for their new life in the sun.
However, things aren’t all they appear to be, and problems begin when the postal inspector declares that he needs to see Georgie’s body to release the reward funds.
To further complicate the situation, local reclusive taxidermist Derby Milton (Michael Stuhlbarg – “Seven Psychopaths”, “Men In Black 3”) emerges from his self imposed exile, very determined to track down a parcel that he was expecting that went missing together with Georgie, his van and the rest of Georgie’s undelivered mail.
While Sheriff Vogel tries to get to the bottom of everything, and while Cassandra aims to win the “Miss Cut Bank” pageant, Dwayne suddenly finds himself out of his depth as it becomes all too apparent that his attempts to improve his life have set in motion a series of events that will change his life and his hometown forever.
A nice little small-town thriller, with a good dose of black humour thrown in. The acting performances are pretty good – with Bruce Dern and Michael Stuhlbarg perhaps having the most fun with their characters. Certainly worth a viewing…