This was written and directed by David Lowery, to whom I give bonus points for originality.A young man, Casey Affleck, accepts blame for wounding a police officer in some tiny retro town in Missouri, although it was his lover, Mara Rooney, who did the shooting. After a few years in the slams, Affleck crashes out and heads towards home, determine to see his girl friend, who still loves him, and his little girl. The cop, who doesn't know who shot him, falls for Rooney and the girl and thinks of them as his family. Everyone in town, including the police, soon learns that the fugitive is on his way. Guess what happens The central idea -- lawbreaker wittingly heads towards forbidden place for personal reasons -- is hardly new. There are echoes of \"One False Move,\" \"Bonny and Clyde\", \"Falling Down,\" and \"Behold a Pale Horse.\" What IS new is the treatment. It's all slow and deliberate. Nobody makes wisecracks during action scenes. The musical score doesn't blitz us with electronic noise. The editing is thoughtful enough to let us see what's going on, instead of being the usual maddening instantaneous clips. The acting is restrained, subtle. People think before they speak. And there is a near absence of gore. When Affleck shoots an attacker, it's a medium shot in a river at night.One might carp that the whole project is too dark, which it is. Missouri must never see the sun. But that's a minor thing. It does drag at times and, given the climax, it's rather like watching a fuse slowly sputtering towards a stack of dynamite that never really explodes. There are some loose ends too. I don't know what the title means or where that buried box of treasure came from. I've never warmed up to Casey Affleck. There's always something about to burst out of him when he uses that cracked, whiny voice. I keep waiting for him to bop somebody over the sconce with a baseball bat. But his screen persona fits the role of the laid-back Southern boy just fine.Mara Rooney is as fixed to her role as an enzyme to its substrate. She's a wan, pretty, contralto. If she doesn't smile, it's because the doesn't have much to smile about. Ben Foster, as the once-wounded policeman, now would-be husband, is a strict nonentity in the looks department and that's just great. He's convincing as hell as the sincere and perceptive second male lead.Daniel Hart did the musical score. The melancholy music -- no tunes -- is heard almost constantly but it doesn't interfere with the narrative because it comes in long sheets of drawn-out chords with occasional syncopated hand-clapping or violin plucking. Carter Burwell and my man Philip Glass draw from the same spring.If you begin to watch it, stick with it for a while. Adult sensibilities may take a little getting used to, after all the garbage polluting our screens these days. This one doesn't even have a car chase and there is not a SINGLE VAMPIRE in sight.
Writer/director David Lowery has gathered a superb cast of actor to explore a rather simple story, a cinematic folksong in the western sense (the film is set in the 1970s but could easily be timeless so far reaching are the themes): quite simply it is the tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and his wife/girlfriend Ruthie Guthrie (Rooney Mara) and their kin Freddy (Kentucker Audley) have been 'raised' by a man named Skerritt (Keith Carradine) and are bank robbers. In their latest attempt Freddy is killed and Ruthie shoots at and wounds Sheriff Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster), but to protect his pregnant wife Bob takes the blame and is sent to prison for four years. Bob writes Ruth daily and longs to be reunited with her and their new daughter Sylvie and escapes the prison by cajoling a guard. Escaping means walking and hitchhiking with a young lad named Will (another impressive turn for Rami Malek). Bob finds a Gilead with Sweetie (Nate Parker) but is determined despite the odds to walk his way back to Ruthie as he had promised. Ruthie meanwhile is making do, raising Sylvie on her own, has been given a house by Skerritt, and is courted by the Sheriff she shot (he does not know that the shooter was Ruthie). There is as much silence in the film as there is dialogue, the characters meditating on the fragility of love and the sense of unpredictable fate. The ending is deeply moving.Bradford Young provides the hypnotic cinematography, allowing the story to unfold gradually (if a bit too long under Lowery's direction). The performances are all memorable, but it is that of Rooney Mara who likely will be in the running for awards. But foremost it is the concept and the technique of cinematic experimental excellence that makes this film a jewel, the work of an important new artist in David Lowery. Grady Harp
The haters for this film really do seem to hate it. I saw the original a couple years ago so my memory of it is a bit fuzzy, but I did like it. I thought this was a pretty decent sequel even if it took ten years to get around to it. Clifton Collins Jr. as the new partner for the McManus Brothers came on a bit over the top but I liked the humor he provided in the story. I wasn't as crazy about Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz), she came on as a very smarmy character and too confident in approaching the three detectives who were allies of the McManus family. And Judd Nelson as a mob boss That took some getting used to, and by the end of the picture, I still wasn't used to the idea, but he won't be showing up again.But even with the reservations cited above, I was able to get into this story of set-ups and revenge, and when the Brothers suggest \"Let's do some gratuitous violence\", the stylized gun play lends itself to a visceral guilty pleasure. Poppa McManus's (Billy Connolly) history told in flashback adds perspective on the rivalry against his former partner, now known as The Roman, in a tale twisted by greed and betrayal. It never occurred to me that it was Peter Fonda in the role of The Roman, although with some reflection on it now, I can see the resemblance to the young actor from \"Easy Rider\". Holy smokes, that was fifty years ago!The closing scene definitely suggests a Part Three, so since it's almost ten years since this one came out, maybe there's a Boondocks III around the corner. It would be cool to see these characters show up again.
Though I suspect this was originally part of the 30 for 30 documentary series, on the UK version of Disney Plus this now appears as a documentary film in its own right. I liked American Football enough to know who Peyton and Eli were, though I had no idea that their father had played or any of the business about which college they all attended.Archie Manning has a promising football career, playing quarterback for the University of Mississippi. When his father takes his own life, he considers dropping out to help support his family but is convinced to continue by his mother and eventually makes it to the NFL, playing for 13 seasons for the New Orleans Saints. With his career winding down, he has three sons. Cooper whose promising career was ended by Spinal Stenosis, Peyton and Eli - both of whom would win multiple Superbowls in hall of fame careers.Again, this was mostly new information to me. Expertly told by interviews with the family and with a story narrated by John Goodman. It focuses much more on the college experiences of the family, rather than the NFL Careers. Archie becomes a legend for Mississippi's team, the Ole Miss Rebels and Cooper seemed set to follow him, until his diagnosis. Then Peyton decides to play for Tennessee instead, which does not go down well with the Mississippi faithful, some of whom turn their ire at Archie for letting it happen. Eli though does go to Ole Miss and breaks records set by his father.It's a really good documentary, I felt. Made with a lot of access to the family and with their blessing, there is plenty of old family footage of the three kids playing football in the yard and making each other cry. It might be nice to revisit it again in a couple of years, when it seems like Cooper son Arch might have added an new chapter. 781b155fdc