Not a movie today, but a TV series and equally as good. We recently watched Godless (2017) a one off series on Netflix consisting of 7 brilliant episodes and no second series, so a nice one to just enjoy with a beginning a middle and an end.
The plot: (No spoilers as this one is too new 🙂 )
We are in New Mexico in the 1880’s and the notorious outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels in great form) has a gang of ne’er do wells, who rob trains and other places and are not above shooting anyone who gets in their way. One of the members of the gang is a handsome chap called Roy Goode (Jack O’Connel) who has been like a son to Jeff. But Roy is sick of being a bad’un, betrays Frank and goes on the run, ending up at the ranch of Alice Fletcher ( Michelle Dockery), a beautiful hardass widow who lives on the outskirts of the town of La Belle with her son and mother-in-law, both Native Americans . La Belle is mostly inhabited by the widows of mining men who were all killed when the mine collapsed.
Frank is determined to catch Roy at all costs and happy to kill anyone who stands in his way. The widows end up banding together to protect Roy.
That’s it for spoilers, it’s too good to go in knowing the rest of the plot. The cast for this series are just great. Apart from Daniels, Sam Waterstone takes the part of Marshall John Cook, hunting Frank and with Scoot McNairy playing the Sherrif of La Belle, Bill McNue, who is losing his eyesight and is scorned by the ladies of La Belle for his drunken behaviour. Merritt Weaver is just brilliant as Mary Agnes, the Sherrif’s sister, a feisty woman who is great with a gun and dresses in her dead husbands clothing.
It was so refreshing to see a Western with a lot of great major roles for strong lady characters, and Scott Frank who both wrote and directed it did a class job.
It got a lot of positive reviews and rightly so, with The Washington Post and Vanity Fair putting it in their top 10 best-of-the-year lists.
Cinematographically speaking Steven Meizler was in charge, and filmed it in New Mexico, perfect Western country.
We enjoyed this so were hoping there would be a second series, but Scott Frank says he has no other story to follow on, and in retrospect that’s a good thing, always leave them wanting more.
Highly recommended with a rating of Bloody Brilliant.
Here’s a taster