PARK CITY. This doesn't happen often, but I had to stay after the Sundance Film Festival premiere screening of "Slow West" to listen to the Q&A with director John MacLean to get a sense of what the intended tone was for his World Cinema Dramatic Competition entry.
Large portions of the second half of the 1870-set Western made me laugh, sometimes fairly hard, but I couldn't quite tell if the aspiration was parody or misgauged sincerity. The answer? Neither. Maclean said he was going for something almost fairy-tale-esque at the bloody climax of "Slow West," which means that something heightened was an aspiration, even if fairy tales very rarely leave me laughing.
Sometimes you're just not receiving signals on the frequency that a movie is transmitting and I accept that just may be the case, especially since the first questioner praised "Slow West" for its realism.
Realism, eh? The movie I saw was an American Western directed by a Scot, filmed in New Zealand, starring an Aussie as the Scottish main character with an Irish actor as an American outlaw and that's before I get to the giggly heightened climax. Realism and authenticity aren't things I would salute here, though the quirky humor and a few interesting narrative choices still have me within range of a recommendation.