When a protective father meets a murderous ex-con, both need to deviate from the path they are on as they soon find themselves entangled in a downwards spiral of lies and violence while having to confront their own inner psyche.
1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
Rami Malek originally auditioned for the role of Sweetie, but the role went to Nate Parker. However director David Lowery was so impressed with Malek's audition that he decided to give him the small role of Will later in the film. See more »
When Bob is shot while in his parked truck, he stumbles out, leaving the driver side door open. While he returns fire and confronts his assailant, he bumps into the door, causing it to close. After killing assailant and turning to get back into truck, the door is open again. See more »
You shot me. Why did you shoot me? I never even seen you.
What's this about? Money?
It's not you. You and the girl. Everything you tried to do.
You're gonna shoot me?
See more »
What is it about the Deep South that's so evocative in cinema? Maybe it's the timelessness. Ain't Them Bodies Saints could be set at any time during the past forty years. The sun seems forever rising or setting in this region, and filmmakers can't help but point their lens in its direction, silhouetting their beautiful actors. Terrence Malick has a lot to answer for.
It's hard not to think of Malick's first film, Badlands, when watching this. The story concerns a couple of young Texan criminals, painfully in love. When Ruth (Rooney Mara) shoots policeman Patrick (Ben Foster), her lover Bob (Casey Affleck) takes the blame and goes to jail. Bob promises he'll come for Ruth, and duly escapes incarceration. Meanwhile, Patrick is making moves on Ruth, oblivious to her guilt. All of this is under the wise, watchful eye of Skerritt, played wonderfully by Keith Carradine. As Bob closes in on Ruth, the cops and the gangsters close in on Bob.
There are times during Ain't Them Bodies Saints when writer-director David Lowery's style and technique comes across as mimicry, of Malick and also of Jeff Nichols, as well as countless American movies from the 1970s. Thankfully, he also has an interesting story to tell, and it is one presented with rich textures. At times the film flows like a visual poem, with Bradford Young's evocative cinematography melding perfectly with Daniel Hart's stirring music. The effect is of something exquisitely handmade.
Affleck's mumbled delivery here exudes danger; he's mythologising himself in the same way he once mythologised Jesse James. Mara is sentimentalised as the angelic mother, but Lowery is wise enough to suggest that this comely vulnerability is an act also - a sophisticated defence against hard men secretly seeking softness.
Perhaps the film veers too closely at times toward stylish vagueness and too far from the broken heart of the story. But there is no denying this is a serious, authored work of art.
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