Jay is a lovelorn 17-year-old Scottish aristocrat who travels to the American West at the close of the nineteenth century to track down his former lover. Confronted with the harsh realities of the frontier, he falls in with a rough and mysterious traveler named Silas (Michael Fassbender), who soon discovers that the focus of Jay’s affection has a price on her head. Together, the two navigate a vast, untamed wilderness while attempting to stay one step ahead of a bloodthirsty posse and colorful bounty hunter. Their search leads to a bloody confrontation where Jay’s romanticism is the first of many casualties.
Scottish filmmaker John Maclean makes his Sundance Film Festival debut with a fresh, lyrical perspective on a quintessentially American art form. With performances buoyed by Fassbender's enigmatic and modern take on the stoic Western hero, a wry sense of humor, and stunning panoramic cinematography, Slow West is a surreal journey through a gorgeous yet inhospitable landscape. —C.H.
Following an arts education in drawing and painting, and early career in music, John Maclean's first independent short film, Man on a Motorcycle, starred Michael Fassbender, the inspiration for the character and integral to the project. This fruitful collaboration led to Maclean's second short, Pitch Black Heist, starring Fassbender and Liam Cunningham, which won the 2012 BAFTA Award for Best Short Film. Slow West marks Maclean's third collaboration with Fassbender and his first feature-length film.