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.
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
8.2 miles is 13196.6 metres. Divide by 9.6 metres for the stripes plus the distance between the stripes, and that's 1374.6 stripes. See more »
When he talks to the woman sifting through the burned out house, Paul Rudd manages to say "Was the pilot's licence a piece of paper?" without moving his mouth at all. 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. But I ...
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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 »
All hope was lost for David Gordon Green. After a string of cult-ready indie flicks, he sold out in the best possible way and made the hilarious Pineapple Express. I hoped it was a one off, or at least, that he would remain good at comedy. But the disappointing Your Highness and the 'I- can't-even-bear-to-look-at-its-IMDb-page' The Sitter don't look too promising for his future. Now with Prince Avalanche, it seems like he's taken a good look at himself and realized what he does best. Small scale dramas concerning the human condition, especially regarding romantic relationships. I always love good films about little-thought of jobs and the guys who do the line painting of the roads in the middle of nowhere is a fascinating one. Prince Avalanche is a dual character study of an introvert and an extrovert but goes beyond the 'odd couple' clichés. Together, they cover enough ground to find relatable areas, and with dialogue-driven scenes, it cuts to the core of what they live for and how that drive changes and grows throughout the course of the film.
Paul Rudd is absolutely outstanding here. I'm so glad he's finally found a role to test his dramatic talent without having to ignore his brand of comedy, though much of the humour of this film is incidental and sparse. He's incredibly subtle and commanding. Unfortunately, Emile Hirsch looks amateur next to Rudd and he rarely feels as sincere. Sometimes the little conflicts between them suffer because of it which make the film feel slower than it is, but they still drive the character development in an interesting way. Rudd aside, the highlight of the film is the great cinematography. Sometimes the cutaways and montages are more emotionally engaging than the words as they think of all the symbols possible in this environment with these characters. It's a film that conjures a mood more than anything and it reassures me that David Gordon Green never left, he was just taking a break. I regret that I've more or less forgotten what happens in his first four films but Avalanche makes me want to revisit them soon. It's a beautiful simple film which ends on a lovely hopeful note. A true catharsis from the social order of life and utterly refreshing to watch.
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