Hunter

The Hunter

Director: Daniel Nettheim, Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill

Cast: Daniel Nettheim, Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill

     
 

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A mercenary employed by a highly secretive biotech-research company sets out into the wilds of Tasmania in search of the elusive Tasmanian tiger -- an animal assumed to be extinct by scientists, yet rumored to have been spotted in the area in recent years. Adapted from the novel by author Julia Leigh, The Hunter follows Martin (

Overview

A mercenary employed by a highly secretive biotech-research company sets out into the wilds of Tasmania in search of the elusive Tasmanian tiger -- an animal assumed to be extinct by scientists, yet rumored to have been spotted in the area in recent years. Adapted from the novel by author Julia Leigh, The Hunter follows Martin (Willem Dafoe) as he ventures out on his mission and arrives at the home of Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor), who has been heavily depressed since her husband vanished into the surrounding wilderness months ago, and who now lives alone with her young daughter Sass (Morgana Davies) and taciturn son Bike (Finn Woodlock) - who have volunteered to host him in their home during the course of his research excursion. Shortly after arriving in Tasmania, Martin is accompanied to the edge of the wilds by Jack Mindy (Sam Neill), an old friend of Lucy's who has kept watch over her family and balks at the newcomer's decision to navigate the rough terrain unaccompanied. In the wake of a clash with hostile local loggers, Martin gradually begins to learn more about Lucy's family and develops a tenuous friendship with her two young children. But later, just as Martin begins to feel as if his goal is finally within reach, an unexpected development sends his mission into a tailspin and causes him to question the motivations behind capturing such a strange and majestic creature.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A talented actor with an unforgettable face, Willem Dafoe tends to get typecast as villains thanks to his uncanny ability to ooze malevolence. But those who have followed the Oscar-nominated actor's long and illustrious career know he's capable of so much more. Sure, his sneering portrayal of Bobby Peru in Wild at Heart possesses the power to physically repel viewers, and his work as Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire projects a deep-rooted malaise that gradually works its way under our skin, but the true key to Dafoe's success has always been his ability to play emotionally complex characters with a sense of genuine humanity just beneath the surface. There's a reason why Martin Scorsese chose Dafoe to portray Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ, and that's exactly the type of performance Dafoe delivers in director Daniel Nettheim's remarkably assured adventure drama The Hunter. A mercenary employed by a highly secretive biotech-research company sets out into the wilds of Tasmania in search of the elusive Tasmanian tiger -- an animal assumed to be extinct by scientists, yet rumored to have been spotted in the area in recent years. Adapted from the novel by author Julia Leigh, The Hunter follows Martin David (Dafoe) as he arrives at the home of Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor), who has been heavily depressed since her husband vanished into the surrounding wilderness months ago, and who now lives alone with her young daughter Sass (Morgana Davies) and taciturn son Bike (Finn Woodlock). Having fallen on financially hard times, Lucy has volunteered to host Martin in her home during the course of his research excursion. Soon after, Martin is accompanied to the edge of the wilds by Jack Mindy (Sam Neill), an old friend of Lucy's who has kept watch over her family and scoffs at the newcomer's decision to navigate the rough terrain unaccompanied. In the wake of a clash with hostile local loggers, Martin gradually begins to learn more about Lucy's family and develops a tenuous friendship with her two young children. But later, just as he begins to feel as if his goal is finally within reach, an unexpected development sends his mission into a tailspin and causes him to question the motivations behind capturing such a strange and majestic creature. A meditative, thematically sophisticated film that demands the patience and attention of viewers -- and rewards both handsomely -- The Hunter follows the story of a solitary, methodical mercenary who gradually connects with his humanity through contact with a bohemian family reeling from a devastating loss. Though it's often difficult for screenwriters to effectively translate the themes and emotions of a great novel to the screen without seeming heavy-handed or trite, first-time feature-film screenwriter Alice Addison does an exceptional job of construing her characters' inner complexities in a manner that's recognizably humane without being aggressively earnest. Meanwhile, displaying the confidence of a veteran filmmaker, experienced television director Nettheim evokes nuanced performances from his genuinely talented cast. And though it will likely come as little surprise that Dafoe and Neill are capable of navigating such challenging waters, it's the expressive supporting performances Nettheim coaxes from co-stars Frances O'Connor, Morgana Davies, and Finn Woodlock that really make the material resonate. Lucy's dazed and devastated reaction after mistaking Martin for her husband early on strikes a haunting chord that effectively echoes throughout the rest of the movie, while her children cast a feral yet vulnerable charm all their own. On top of all that, The Hunter is a visually sumptuous film thanks to cinematographer Robert Humphreys' sweeping, majestic shots of the richly textured Tasmanian landscape, while composers Andrew Lancaster, Michael Lira, and Matteo Zingales back up the action with an evocative score that perfectly complements the deliberate pacing and atmosphere. As measured as The Hunter is, however, it's never boring; Nettheim and Addison work in perfect harmony to balance the dual mysteries of Martin's clandestine, high-stakes mission and the uncertain fate of Lucy's missing husband, ensuring a clean shot to the heart once they've got us locked in their sights.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/03/2012
UPC:
0876964004695
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
R
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
41,678

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Making of The Hunter: The Story, The Characters, Tasmania, The Tiger; Deleted Scenes with Commentary; Commentary with Director Daniel Nettheim and Producer Vincent Sheehan; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Willem Dafoe Martin
Frances O'Connor Lucy
Sam Neill Jack
Morgana Davies Sass
Finn Woodlock Bike
Jacek Koman Middleman
Callan Mulvey Rival Hunter
John Brumpton Publican
Daniel Wyllie Pool Player
Sullivan Stapleton Doug
Jamie Timony Free
Dan Spielman Simon
Maia Thomas Shakti
Marc Watson-Paul Jarrah
Mark Hennessy Martin Stunt Double

Technical Credits
Daniel Nettheim Director
Alice Addison Screenwriter
Mullinars Consultants Casting
Liam Egan Sound/Sound Designer
Roland Gallois Editor
Steven Jones-Evans Production Designer
Andrew Kotatko Musical Direction/Supervision
Andrew Lancaster Score Composer
Michael Lira Score Composer
Jane Norris Casting
Sam Petty Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Humphreys Cinematographer
Emily Seresin Costumes/Costume Designer
Vincent Sheehan Producer
Anita Sheehan Executive Producer
Liz Watts Executive Producer
Paul Wiegard Executive Producer
Matteo Zingales Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hunter
1. Tasmanian Tiger [9:45]
2. I''ve Arrived [7:53]
3. I''d Like To Go On Alone [8:38]
4. Seen Many Devils? [8:58]
5. They''re Gone [8:20]
6. Tell Us A Story [9:07]
7. The Cave [8:58]
8. He''s Becoming A Problem [7:22]
9. Probably Better Off Extinct [:49]
10. Where''s The Cave? [9:07]
11. Don''t Bother Looking For Me [8:21]
12. End Credits [8:28]

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