Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Studio: IFC Films
Directed by David Lowery
Aug 15, 2013
Issue #46 - June/July 2013 - Charli XCX
A young woman storms across an open field, the sun glows lights her hair up like a halo; she wipes away tears. Her husband chases her. She thinks he's leaving her; he assures he won't. He tells her she can't leave him, because he'll follow her wherever she goes. She tells him she's having a baby. This happy reconciliation won't last for long; minutes later, the young lovers are in a shootout with police. Bob (Casey Affleck) is sent to prison to serve a 25-year sentence. Ruth (Rooney Mara) goes free, promising to wait for him and care for their daughter. Four years later, Bob escapes.
The beauty of writer-director David Lowery's 70s-set Western love story is not just in the incredible cinematography-the numerous scenes shot against dusty Texan landscapes during the magic hour have earned it justifiable Malick comparisons-but in the way the film holds back information, blindsiding you with tiny revelations. This works because the cast and filmmaker know their characters' story and feelings so well; much more so than the audience is ever made privy to. Ain't Them Bodies Saints doesn't give away all of the answers, and never needs to. In the end, you won't know this couple any more than you could truly know the family down the street, and that's what makes it feel so real.
Author rating: 9/10
Average reader rating: 7/10