The Claim
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Viewed at the San Francisco International Film Festival

A tempestuous wall of white, an incredible expanse of wilderness as far as the eye can see. Majestic mountains looming ominously over us.
The new film by Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo, Winterland) is literally a blast from the past : an epic about the California gold rush (1870) and the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad.
Welcome to Kingdom Come, a bustling mining town nestled in the imposing and brutal Sierras. Daniel Dillon (Peter Mullan) basically founded this town and owns the hotel, the mine, the bank, but things are about to get interesting when three strangers come to town. Two women from Boston, Elena (Natasha Kinski) and Hope (Sarah Polly), and the man, Mr. Dalglish (Wes Bentley) engineer for the Central Pacific Railroad. Also featured prominently in the film is the exotic "Madame" (Milla Jovovich). A story of greed, love and redemption-- maybe! Mr. Dylan is trying to convince Mr. Dalglish that the railroad should go through his town, but Mr. Dalglish is not so sure it's even possible.
The cinematography is spectacular and the story engaging, the actors were right on, Wes Bently (American Beauty) is strong as Dalglish the railroad man and Milla Jovovich (The 5th Element, Joan the Messenger) is charming and sexy, a credible chanteuse and a sassy frontier woman. The eventual discovery of Dillon's dark secret is his undoing, a karmic payback of sorts.
Hey... save me a piece of that gold!

Reviewed by Eric Michel, FilmCities

Nowhere to Hide

Country: USA
Year: 2000
Run Time: 120 minutes

Cast: Peter Mullan, Sarah Polley, Wes Bentley, Milla Jovovich, Nastassja Kinski

Editor: Trevor Waite
Cinematographer: Alwin Kuchler
Screenwriter: Frank Cottrell Boyce