— Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, 1976
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August 30, 2013
Let’s Talk: Aint Them Bodies Saints One Boring Indie
— Posted by Kenny Miles
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 1970’s Texas Hill Country, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS is a romantic American story that follows three characters on various sides of the law – outlaw Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck), his wife Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara), and a local sheriff named Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster), who gets caught in their crosshairs. The film, which is the second feature from writer-director David Lowery, was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Writing and Producing Labs and also stars NateParker and Keith Carradine. The film received the U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (c) IFC
Poetic and somber through out its running time, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints feels like a student film project from the Terrence Malick school of filmmaking. What starts out as flashbacks through life comes to fruition with various scenes. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what was going on nor didn’t care. There is a cool moment in the movie when we see a cut between two different scenes: one of lovemaking and the other the delivery of the baby. I will say that the Sundance award winning cinematography is immaculate to look at and I am sure is enhanced on the big screen.
Filmmaker David Lowery wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival. Unfortunately, I found Ain’t Them Bodies Saints to be a drag, maybe not as bad as To The Wonder, but still a bore. One of the only scenes I cared about wad the one where Casey Affleck has a solemn conversation with a black man in a closed bar late at night. The scene captures character development and mood. However everything else is a slow tedious pace that reeks of amateur art house cliches just for the sake of it. I am confident there wasn’t even a plot to the movie since filmmakers were more concerned with getting a great shot over telling a compelling story.
Okay, TMB readers maybe I missed something is Ain’t Them Bodies Saints an overlooked classic or is it a boring cliche indie?
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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