Whatever the role, Ben Mendelsohn needs to (a) suck on filtered cigarettes and (b) have his face glisten with sweat. Without these elements he runs into trouble. His sweat-free, sans-cigarette performance in Ridley Scott‘s Exodus: Gods and Kings was a clear indication of that. Mendelsohn must have therefore thought twice when he was offered the villain role in John Mclean‘s Slow West (A24, 5.15) as men didn’t smoke cigarettes in the late 1800s. He almost certain talked it over with his wife and agent. “I need my smokes,” Mendelsohn probably said in a moment of vulnerability, “and they need me.” They no doubt assured him that he could win through, and that if he felt uncertain he could always double up on the sweat.