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.
Following the death of his wife Audrey, John Munn moves with his two sons, mid-teen Chris Munn and adolescent Tim Munn, to a pig farm in rural Drees County, Georgia, where they lead a ... See full summary »
After a rough time working a night shift job in the city, Alvin is spending the summer on a remote two-man public works crew painting lines on newly paved roads through what is a recently wildfire-ravaged region of Texas. He is camping along the way living off the land, even doing so on his days off. He is what he considers a responsible man, earning and sending money to his girlfriend, Madison, a single mother, so that she need not concern herself with anything besides child rearing. The junior second that Alvin hires for his crew is Madison's brother, Lance. Alvin's controlling and judgmental nature comes to the surface in his dealings with more immature and irresponsible Lance, who goes back to the city on the weekends so that he can have "his little man squeezed", something he cannot understand in Alvin being without Madison or any woman for such a long stretch of time. Alvin prefers to stay in the burnt out woods on the weekends as being alone with his thoughts and his chores - ... Written by
Early in the film, Alvin (Paul Rudd) happens upon the charred remains of a home and discovers an old lady in a pink sunbonnet sifting through the rubble. This woman is played by Joyce Payne, who has had no prior acting experience, and the rubble she is sifting through is the actual remains of her old house. David Gordon Green and his location scouts simply happened upon her and asked if they could put her story into the movie. See more »
The inspection sticker on the truck used in the film has the date 2011 yet the film is based in 1988 See more »
[about cassette tape]
Hey! What are you doing?
I was falling asleep. I thought it would be a good idea to change the station situation.
It wasn't. I was listening to that.
I know, but it's boring for the rest of us. I was falling asleep doing the work.
So, I wanna play this tape. I wanna play this play to get motivated and pumped up, ya know?
I know, I know you want to play that tape. Look, you know what, Lance, I'm not here to start a fight. That's not what I want to do. ...
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The letters for the title appear in time with the taps of the hammer as they hammer a post into the ground. See more »
Incredible plot (which plot?) and incredible mini-cast still keeps you interested for the full 90 minutes
I saw this one at the Berlinale 2013 film festival, where it was part of the official Competition. The synopsis left me speculating what interesting things could happen in the given circumstances. Two men all alone in a deserted environment, meeting virtually no one while underway, and having a boring tedious task before them. Would one eventually kill or otherwise harm the other one?? Any attempt to have sex together, perhaps?? Or are they bordering on getting mad and about to make a mess of their job?? The situation could scatter in any direction, so it seemed. Anyway, the direction the story actually took was surprising. It is difficult but also unnecessary to condense the story here. Let me only say that the Dear John letter carried by the younger one (Lance) and addressed to the older one (Alvin), is an essential element in the proceedings.
They encounter some people, but these are only icing on the cake, no more no less. The lorry driver with the home made booze is picturesque in his behavior and his looks, offers some distraction from the story line, but is not essential. The woman in the burnt down cottage, desperately looking for her license as a pilot, left a minor open end when we see her later on with aforementioned lorry driver, though the latter denies having seen any woman around. But this is a trivial detail, not hampering my viewing experience.
All in all, I must say that this movie surprised me much more than I could have imagined after reading the synopsis on the festival website. It can be of no surprise that the Berlinale 2013 International Jury awarded a Silver Bear for best director, deservedly since he made a compelling movie out of barely nothing. The two main characters perform very well, and the desolate décor is perfectly integrated in the end product as presented to us.
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