The Dead Don't Hurt - Mortensen's Sophomore Success

The Dead Don't Hurt - Mortensen's Sophomore Success

Written by Zoe Crombie 

Something of a Renaissance man, three-time Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen has followed through on a wide range of artistic pursuits since he exploded onto the scene as Aragorn in The Fellowship of the Ring. As well as successfully founding a publishing house, writing numerous fiction and non-fiction books, and pursuing abstract painting and photography, Mortensen has worked in film behind the scenes, directing his first feature Falling in 2020. This sparse, intense domestic drama was an exploration of dementia, with the disease having impacted many in his own family, but hasn’t dictated his cinematic style going forward.

His second film, The Dead Don’t Hurt, takes a different path as a Western romance that muses on relationships and misogyny while maintaining a familiar look that aligns itself with John Ford style filmmaking. Starring Mortensen alongside Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps as a couple ripped apart by the American Civil War, it’s a dark take on the genre that effectively shows off Mortensen’s skills in directing, writing, and acting – if he wanted an all-inclusive portfolio for his talents, this would serve nicely.

Mortensen stated in an interview with The Times that the filming of The Dead Don’t Hurt reminded him why he liked working with women – though he shouldn’t really need reminding, it’s a refreshing statement particularly for his choice of genre. If this solid outing from Mortensen starts a trend of Westerns with three dimensional women at their centre, I’ll certainly be happy.

The Dead Don't Hurt runs from 29 June to 3 July.

Tickets and Show Times: