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Prince Avalanche (2013)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 9,539 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 40 user | 184 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.

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(based on the film "Either Way"), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Prince Avalanche (2013)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Lance
Lance LeGault ...
Truck Driver
Joyce Payne ...
Lady
Gina Grande ...
Madison
...
Voice of Madison (voice)
Larry Kretschmar ...
Lumberjack
Enoch Moon ...
Lumberjack
David L. Osborne Jr. ...
Lumberjack
Danni Wolcott ...
Lumberjack
Morgan Calderoni ...
Kid
Savanna Porter ...
Kid
Juniper Smith ...
Kid
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Storyline

Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 2013 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Prince Avalanche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$725,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$36,694 (USA) (9 August 2013)

Gross:

$204,951 (USA) (15 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a 'minimalist' Icelandic film, the movie was shot in only 16 days. See more »

Goofs

The inspection sticker on the truck used in the film has the date 2011 yet the film is based in 1988 See more »

Quotes

Alvin: There's a difference between being lonely and being alone.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.107 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Loud N' Restless
Performed by Loosely Tight
Written by Dennis Livingston
Published by Trailerville Music, BMI
Courtesy of Fervor Records Vintage Masters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The ultimate road movie
9 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All of David Gordon Green's pre-Pineapple Express works (which are likely his best works) are unseen by me. If you've been a lifelong fan of Green, I can see these last few years being sort of bewildering for you. Green, who began as a very independent director, began doing mainstream work with the surprising hit The Pineapple Express before doing two ridiculous and forgettable stoner comedies that ultimately don't deserve a mention in this review.

It would seem clear that Green reevaluated his mainstream direction and questioned, "why waste potential in a sector that the masses aren't fond of me in?" He returns to the independent circuit with Prince Avalanche, a quiet gem of a picture that captures the small, beautiful essences of life in a greatly enduring way that doesn't come off as overly-arty or alienating. It concerns two roadside workers, who spend their days repainting divided yellow lines on a windy, never-ending road in Texas, as well as mulching gardens and hammering in reflective poles at certain locations. All of these things have been destroyed by an enormous wildfire that claimed 1,600 hundred homes in Texas in 2011.

The two men are the stern and peace-minded Alvin (Paul Rudd) and the often coy and dopey Lance (Emile Hirsch). Alvin is dating an unseen woman named Melanie, who is also Lance's sister. Alvin chose this job to try and get closer to a less-demanding environment and to offer peace-of-mind to not just himself but this his girlfriend, who stays at home with their son. Lance is out there with no particular motivation in mind, and seems to just want to get back to skirt-chasing in the big city. During this quiet time, the men talk, sometimes about trivial things, other times about occurrences in their life, and learn companionship through simple laughs and bitter words. It's the ultimate coming-of-age film.

I bill Prince Avalanche as a coming-of-age film because a character doesn't necessarily have to be young to come-of-age. Maturity and mental establishment living up to your age can take many, many years to develop or, sometimes, just doesn't, and the person occupies a deluded state of mind for his entire life. Alvin and Lance aren't so much deluded as they are troubled in their own ways and somewhat expecting. Alvin expects a more functional, linear relationship, while Lance expects to be able to glide through life, sleeping with any woman who says "yes." Even if you reduce these characters down to basic adjectives, such as dictative and bossy for Alvin and wayward and childish for Lance, you still have immensely interesting characters that deserve to be examined.

Prince Avalanche doesn't play out like a typical genre film where two mismatched men must learn to deal with each other. It's far too mature for that cinematic stereotype. The film is about dealing with limitations, whether they're geographical or personal, and appreciating the present and the slowness of the present; it doesn't emphasize on the fact that both Alvin and Lance are polar opposites. Even as they argue and bicker back-and-forth, we still get the sense they enjoy being in the company of others and would actually hate to be doing this job alone.

The only other character in the film is an old truck driver, played by Lance LeGault, who comes along at infrequent times, giving the boys soda, alcohol, and cigars, commending them for their work and dedication to fixing up the road. Focusing simply on these three characters, Green (who also serves as writer) is allowed to layer these characters and work with them from an intimate point of view. This allows for the maximum level of humanism to come through, as listening to their dialogs and their ramblings on life become oddly poetic and increasingly believable.

Only adding to the poetic nature are the stunning shots that exhibit the locational beauty of the backwoods of Texas. Green adopts a Malick-esque appreciation for a concise crowd of restless ants, a bright green caterpillar, poisonous yellow paint flowing into a small river bank, and the burnt, dead trees that now make up the forest of this area in Texas. Terrence Malick's latest film, To the Wonder attempted to tell a romantic story by capturing the strange, beautiful, and occasional essences of the relationship at that particular point in time. Prince Avalanche attempts to use those essences to further a story told with strong minimalism and succeeds beautifully.

The final thing to note are the performances by Rudd and Hirsch that show them breaking new ground in their careers. Rudd, who is known to star in offbeat comedies, could very well become skilled and known for his colorful dramas and the characters he plays if he continues a line of work like the one he is paving with this film. Hirsch, who has always been underrated and often miscast in my opinion, shows involvement with this role, particularly in his dialog scenes and facial expressions when either explaining a sexual fling or deeply regretting something he recently did. These two performances combined with beautiful landscape photography and conversation make Prince Avalanche meditative, peaceful, and a strong kind of road movie I never tire of seeing.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, and Lance LeGault. Directed by: David Gordon Green.


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