To the End of the World: a feminist and romantic western (review)

To the End of the World: a feminist and romantic western (review)

The Wild West told from the point of view of an intrepid woman… Viggo Mortensen has created a beautiful film, in the tradition of Sydney Pollack.

The first shot is destabilizing. We sit down to watch a western and a knight like Lancelot du Lac enters the frame. For his second directorial film, would Viggo Mortensen have chosen to follow in the footsteps of his friend Lisandro Alonso, with whom he used to shoot experimental western variations? Not really, no – Till the end of the world is as “straight” asEureka Or Jauja are perched. But this plan nevertheless serves as a note of intention: for Mortensen it is a question of saying that it is part of the tradition while slightly deframing it. One cowboy boot in classicism and the other in a contemporary approach.

Till the end of the world tells a piece of the conquest of the West from the point of view of Vivienne (Vicky Krieps), a Canadian woman settling in Nevada in the 1860s with her handsome Danish husband (Viggo, who else?). But the Civil War breaks out, the man goes to fight alongside the northerners, and the woman must face alone the bastards who populate the region. Mortensen (also a screenwriter) offers a feminist look at the codes of the western, enriching it with original proposals (references to chivalry, the French culture of the heroine, etc.) while playing the game of old-school pleasures, with landscapes magnificent and archetypal villains, played by appreciable veterans (Garret Dillahunt, Danny Huston…).

Some will find it outdated, we can also see the reactivation of a certain idea of ​​great Hollywood cinema à la Sydney Pollack, committed, romantic, and knowing how to sublimate its stars.

By Viggo Mortensen. With Vicky Krieps, Viggo Mortensen, Solly McLeod… Duration 2h09. Released May 1st

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