Our reviewer in Tribeca

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Maysa Moncao has been hitting the film festival circuit hard, this time at Tribeca. She sends back this review of the Mojave including an interview with one of the stars, Oscar Isaac. Check out her LinkedIn profile for more and contact details.

William Monahan (The Departed) chose New York for the premiere of Mojave, which is the name of a desert in California. More than simply deconstruct Hollywood, Monahan’s third feature is a modern and existentialist western, with references to Shakespeare, Marlowe, Bergman and John Wayne.

On the main roles, two murderers (the actors incidentally worked together in Inside Llewyn Davis): Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund. I got Oscar Isaac on the red carpet in Chelsea, and asked him how he chooses his characters, since I have noticed they do not have the physique du role of a Latin man. For me, those are very smart choices of a rising talented actor: “Inside Llewyn Davis”, “Ex machina” and the new episode of “Star Wars”. Oscar says:

“Oh, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. For me it is like falling in love: you don’t know who will move you till it happens. In general, when somebody is idiosyncratic when a character has uncommon traces and a strange mind, those are the roles that attract me more and inspire me to be part of a project”.

Of course, Isaac is not so young and I was curious to know how many “no’s” did he get before this moment of success:

“Oh, many, several. I have been in this business for 16 years, since I have graduated. But it has been stable and gradually I was offered new roles. It is an incredible honour for me and I am very happy for having had these opportunities.”

There is a particular and caustic humour that invades the narrative of Mojave and leads us to be conscious of our inescapable mortality. But nevertheless, being conscious of death can’t help the killers be moved by revenge and strategic cleverness.

Hedlund plays the rebel without a cause, who wants to be imitated, doubled. And in fact one of the funniest moments in the movie is when Isaac watches Hedlund and imitates his tone of voice. Hedlund’s character is a Hollywood actor who for no reason escapes to Mojave and tries to kill Isaac’s character.

The subsequent search for revenge can be described as a wireless version of the Seventh Seal. All I can wish is long life for Isaac!

Maysa Moncao

MOJAVE

☆☆☆☆

USA, NARRATIVE, 2015, 92 MIN

SCREENWRITER WILLIAM MONAHAN

WITH GARRETT HEDLUND, OSCAR ISAAC, LOUISE BOURGOIN, WALTON GOGGINS

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

William Monahan entered screenwriting by adapting a satirical novel Light House: A Trifle. His first produced a screenplay, Kingdom of Heaven, has been hailed as a masterpiece. His second produced screenplay, The Departed earned four Oscars including Best Adapted Screenplay.

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