movie film review | chris tookey

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

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  Ain't Them Bodies Saints Review
Tookey's Rating
3 /10
Average Rating
6.00 /10
Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck
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Directed by: David Lowery
Written by: David Lowery

Released: 2013
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 105

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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David Lowery’s Texas western, set in the 1970s, is an excruciatingly slow homage to early Terrence Malick films, Badlands and Days of Heaven, that once seemed to promise such a glorious future.

Like Badlands, Lowery’s tale is about a latterday Bonnie and Clyde, but he decides not to show us their life of crime. Instead, he shows us their astonishingly boring life after the male partner (Casey Affleck) is sent to prison, and his pregnant girl-friend (Rooney Mara) is undeservedly set free, to become the romantic obsession of the young lawman (Ben Foster) she once shot, though he doesn’t know that.

Long, theatrical dialogue scenes are mixed in with leisurely strolls in the “magic hour” just before sunset. They weren’t enough to hold my interest, and Affleck’s tendency to mumble – always an irritation – is getting worse.

Foster made his name playing bad guys, most memorably in 3.10 to Yuma, and there’s something too stoatlike about him to convince us here that he’s an honourable, law-abiding member of society, with finer feelings for women and children.

The best thing about the movie is Rooney Mara, who won an Oscar nomination for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and was even more impressive in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects.

But the poorly written anti-heroine doesn’t have enough complexity or anguish as she’s torn between two men; we never get inside her mind, and all Mara can leave us with is the memory of a beautiful, dimpled facade.

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