One Minute Review: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

Release Date
August 16, 2013
Director
David Lowery
Screenplay
David Lowery
Distributed By
IFC Films
Budget
$4 million
Crime, Drama, Romance
Rated R for some violence
105 minutes

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
09fourhalf-stars

Highlighted with three of best performances this year, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” takes a minimal storyline and creates an authentic and emotion-filled canvas for these young and bright actors to paint this heart-wrenching drama with their God-given talents. Casey Affleck has proved time and time again that he is an actor to be watched, delivering award-worthy performances around every corner, taking on the richest of characters and bringing his unique persona to each of them. This goes for his embodiment of the character Bob Muldoon in this film as well, a man who takes the blame for his wife when she shoots a police officer and goes to jail, while she gives birth to their child and lives on the fringe, wondering if he’ll come back to her.

Played by the stellar Rooney Mara, Ruth is a torn character. On one hand, she has the love of her life in jail, who took the fall for her and who she now sees in the eyes of her daughter as she reads her to stories in bed or sings her to sleep. On the other hand, local police officer, Patrick Wheeler, played by the always talented Ben Foster, is showing a kindness to her that she’s never experienced. When Bob escapes from jail, the question of how he’ll return for Ruth and whether she’ll actually go with him becomes the driving force of the plot. Every performance in David Lowery’s film is multi-layered and executed to a level of brilliance unbeknown to me by just seeing the trailer. Often creating the mood of Western, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” escapes the bonds of similar films while not having to adhere to any “based on a true story” moniker, creating a truly original story matching the caliber of classics like “Bonnie & Clyde” or “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.

 

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