The story of Ned Kelly has had its fair share of storied, serious adaptations. That’s not what True History of The Kelly Gang is. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Carey, the new film flips the story on its head, queering and unsettling it. So, though the film is nominally about our country’s most famous bushranger, it’s also about toxic masculinity, the legacy of violence, and, of course, bandits in dresses.
The film was directed by Justin Kurzel, the Australian behind chilling criminal thriller Snowtown and the dusty, fog-maddened Macbeth. From the looks of the trailer, he’s bringing the moody, doom-laden sensibility that he applied to those two films to this new story — the thing reeks of tense, barely contained violence.
The cast is just impressive. George Mackay of The Boys Are Back plays Kelly, Russell Crowe the bushranger Harry Power, and Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Nicholas Hoult is the villainous and unpleasant Constable Fitzpatrick.
Oh, and if you want any further reason to get excited, look no further than the film’s early reviews, which were singularly glowing. Looks like this one might really be something. True History of The Kelly Gang releases in select Australian cinemas from January 9, and then drops on Stan.