It’s rare to find a western with a strong female lead. This isn’t surprising, after all the genre typically attracts male audiences. What roles women did have were usually small, with very little meat on them.
Not only does Viggo Mortensen’s The Dead Don’t Hurt feature a strong female character, but she’s the lead as well.
Vivienne Le Coudy (Vicky Krieps) and Holger Olsen (Mortensen) are immigrants in a small, quiet, yet corrupt town. He’s a carpenter, and she sells flowers and tends bar at the local saloon. While they live together, she refuses to get married because she doesn’t want to lose her independence. When Holder decides to enlist to fight in the civil war, Vivienne is forced to watch over and defend herself from the advances of the local rancher’s son. Something much easier said than done.
Krieps deserves kudos for her portrayal of a strong willed woman. From just a look in her eye you can see how much it pains her character to bite her tongue or how much it means for her to stand her ground. It’s difficult to portray a character with just facial expressions, but Krieps does it very well. Some may find the movie’s story telling device hard to follow, but by the time the movie ends you can see how remarkably ingenious the use of time jumps was.
The Dead Don’t Hurt is a great addition to the western. It also gives you time to get to know its characters.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Western
- Release Date: 9/8/2023
- Directed by: Viggo Mortensen
- Starring: Danny Huston, Garret Dillahunt, Solly McLeod, Vicky Krieps, Viggo Mortensen
- Produced by: Angela Blair, Gia Galligani, Jeremy Thomas, Mark David, Regina Solórzano, Viggo Mortensen
- Written by: Viggo Mortensen
- Studio: Perceval Pictures, Recorded Picture Company, Talipot Studio