The Motel Life, film review: An engaging mix of tenderness and grit

(15) Gabe Polsky, Alan Polsky, 85 mins Starring: Stephen Dorff, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning
  • @IndyVoices

The Polsky brothers' debut feature follows two delinquent brothers (Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff) continually in trouble with the authorities.

They've come from nothing. All they have is each other and the stories they tell one another (the directors use animation to capture their fantasies).

Their cursed lives become more fraught when one is involved in a hit and run.

The film is based on a novel by Willy Vlautin, lead singer of country band Richmond Fontaine.

The rambling plot may resemble a lyric from a mawkish country song but the film-makers bring an engaging mix of tenderness and grit to the downbeat material.