Film review: Ain't Them Bodies Saints starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara
Friday 06 September 2013
The title is just one of many intriguing aspects to this ballad-like drama of doomed love. Writer-director David Lowery has taken his elliptical storytelling and dreamy magic-hour light from Terrence Malick, but he brings something of his own to the slowly unfolding tragedy set in Texas hill country. Early on two young outlaws, Bob (Casey Affleck) and Ruth (Rooney Mara), are cornered in a shoot-out with the police. Ruth wounds a deputy, but Bob takes the rap for her and goes down. Four years later, Ruth is bringing up their daughter when news comes that Bob has broken out of jail – but is it too late? Touching support comes from Ben Foster as the deputy who falls for Ruth, and Keith Carradine as an old man who once adopted the fugitive pair.
It's a potent backwoods fable, located in an austere 1970s that could almost be the 1950s: letters, not telephones, are the vital means of communication here. The ghosts of earlier American movies hang around the margins, notably The Last Picture Show and, thanks to Carradine, some early Robert Altman. Mara's hunted-deer eyes and Affleck's quavery sing-song voice are just right for keeping our judgment off-balance and our senses on guard.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Isis flag: What do the words mean and what are its origins?
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Poldark finale review: Not even the 'putrid throat' and tragedy to stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender hints showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Amy: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' Amy Winehouse film as it scores the highest ever UK opening for a British documentary
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts