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The Motel Life (2012)

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A pair of working-class brothers flee their Reno Motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

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, (as Gabriel Polsky)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Andrew Lee ...
Young Frank
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Frank
...
...
Boss Man
...
Mom
...
Polly Flynn
...
...
Tommy
...
Earl Hurley
...
Al Casey
...
Barry Hurley
...
Officer Cook
...
Officer Mori
Jim Gray ...
Boxing Sportscaster
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Storyline

Two brothers who are forced to leave Reno after being involved in a hit-and-run accident. Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, this moody thriller is a searing and profound examination of brotherhood set in the timeless Sierra Nevadan frontier. Written by Polsky Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They will do anything to find the truth


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language, some nudity, brief violent images, and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida em Motéis  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kris Kristofferson claimed that this is one of the best films he has ever appeared in. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Lee 16 years: Can you tell me a story, Frankie? Tell me something good. Make me the hero. Maybe I can get the girl.
Frank - 14: I got one. A long time ago, you and me were fighter pilots in the war. The Flannigan brothers. We were famous. One morning we were heading over to Germany when we got ambushed. You and me versus 20 German fighters. It was a mess. Real dog fight. It was touch-and-go, but we were winning until a Nazi came out of the fog and started firing away at you. Luckily I came down and blew the...
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Connections

Features Bonanza: Dark Star (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

In cold blood
Written by Jack Shaindlin
Courtesy of APM music
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User Reviews

 
A "Midnight Cowboy" for the 21st Century
20 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Movies like this only come around every half century or so. The last time, the name of the movie was "Midnight Cowboy." This time, it's "The Motel Life," which is based on a cult debut novel by Willy Vlautin published in 2006. It's the story of two close-knit brothers, bonded together by the untimely death of their mother when they're in their early teens. Since then, these brothers have been inseparable, living rough on society's fringes due to no fault of their own. When the movie opens, the brothers are living in their hometown of Reno, Nevada in the cheap-motel miasma on the "other" side of town. Although one's a gifted artist and the other is an accomplished storyteller, they live at the bottom of the economic pile with nothing but odd jobs for support.

The two brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, are played by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff respectively with about as much emotional depth and raw credibility as you're likely to ever see portrayed on screen. The supporting cast includes Kris Kristofferson—in a truly moving performance—and Dakota Fanning who also gives a terrific accounting of her character. The inspired animation of Mike Smith adds substantially to the movie as well, cleanly delineating the "real" world from Frank's fantasies.

Like "Midnight Cowboy," this film deals with many dark, adult themes. "Midnight Cowboy" was made in 1969. It was highly controversial back then but it's now listed as #36 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 Greatest Movies of all time. If you're squeamish or prudish about what you see on screen, this might not be your film, but if you can stand to look at a portion of society that you likely don't see often or ever, you will be rewarded by the tremendous performances in this film.

You're going to have to work a bit harder than usual to find this movie when it opens on November 8. It will open in only 20 markets. But it will be worth the quest. We saw it early as part of the ongoing efforts of Tim Sika and the San Jose Camera Cinema Club. After the showing, the audience talked with Stephen Dorff via Skype for 45 minutes. Dorff shared a lot of background that greatly enhanced the experience. Thanks Tim.


32 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Dorff + Hirsch: AMAZING itssosublime
Release date? benkiely93
How do I get on the IMDb credits?I was craft services. capt-x
Willy Vlautin sure as hell better be doing the music for this! booknerd1970
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