The Hunter (2011)
The Hunter is a 2011 Australian film by Daniel Nettheim and staring William Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor. The film is an adaption of the 1999 Julia Leigh novel of the same name. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 2011.
The film follows a freelance hunter named Martin David (Dafoe) who has been contracted by Redleaf, a biotech corporation to hunt, kill and get blood samples from a Tasmanian tiger. There are only a few problems. One the local towns people do not like outsides and two the Tasmanian tiger has long been thought to be extinct.
The acting is superb all around. Dafoe is clearly the stand out as he puts on a great and emotional performance that pulls you in and really gets you invested in the his character. I really don’t think he can have a bad perform as he is great in everything he is in. Frances O’Connor also does a great job as a grieving mother that gets it together for her family and conveys those emotions to the viewer. Although Sam Neil is not in the film as much, his character does what it’s meant to do and that is to be a bridge between Dafoe and the townspeople. He puts on a noble performance as a man who is in doubt about his own life and the mistakes he has done. The two child actors, Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock also do a nice job as they put innocence’s into something that is not innocence at all, they humanize Dafoe.
The directing is something to talk about as Nettheim does a fantastic job crafting this movie together. Everything blends together well from the cinematography to the script. The Australian landscape is beautiful to look at and he manages to captures it all. The writers did a great job at adapting Leigh’s book and capturing the feeling of it. The film has something to say about the state between humans and nature and how we tend to treat it as something completely differently than ourselves.
Overall the Hunter is a great thriller that has something to say and stars one of the best actors alive today. It has a somber tone to it but it does not overwhelm the film and is one that anyone can enjoy. I would recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Dafoe or anyone who likes a good thriller/ drama, 3 ½ out of 5.