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      Oscar season has officially begun with the arrival of "Lawless", the best movie of the year so far. The movie is based upon a 2008 novel "The Wettest County in the World", written by Matt Bondurant, who is the grandson and grand nephew of the characters depicted in the film. The film, set in prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia, is an authentic and truthful depiction of life as they knew it in bootleg heavy, depression-era Virginia.

      The story centers around the Bondurant brothers, Forrest (Tom Hardy), Howard (Jason Clarke) and Jack (Shia Lebeouf), Jack being the younger and more timid of the three. In fact, Forrest and Howard, can not at all be described as anything close to timid.

      Prohibition is in place, yet moonshine is run back and forth from county line to county line without any trouble. Thereâ??s an unwritten acceptance of a business that hasnâ??t really caused any trouble. Yet, things are beginning to brew in Chicago with many now well known gangsters thriving, the government is cracking down. It is just a matter of time before that crack down reaches them in the hills of Virginia. So, unless the Bondurantâ??s want trouble, they have to begin to pay the government for the pleasure of continuing to do business. That doesnâ??t sit well with Forrest and Howard.

      The movie, written by Nick Cave and directed by John Hillcoat is an absolute stunner. Not necessarily for the images depicted on screen, but for the quality of the film, given that Nick Cave has only written three screenplays since 1988. Twenty-four years and only two prior scripts and Nick Cave may just be one of the biggest hidden secrets in Hollywood. Known mostly for his music, but Cave has delivered a tight, canâ??t take my eyes off the screen, Oscar night guarantee.

      The authenticity of the film and the beauty of the cinematography is what film making is all about. The creators took us back in time nearly a century and never once do you question its validity and never once do you want to miss a single scene. The humor is perfect and the violence is harsh and realistic. You feel the tenseness and the unpredictable nature of what the film could possibly do at any given moment.

      Iâ??m surprised that itâ??s already September and Iâ??ve yet to see a film that made me mention the word Oscar. "Lawless" will be part of Oscar night. Screenplay, direction and performances by Guy Pierce, Shia Lebeouf, Jessica Chastain and Dark Knightâ??s Tom Hardy are all going to be at least considerations. If you like great cinema, donâ??t miss "Lawless". Although, this is also one of those movies that will have a nice long life on peopleâ??s tongues and video.