“Prince Avalanche”

“Prince Avalanche”

Paul Rudd

Emile Hirsch

Reviewed by Tom-Tom

 starstarstarhalf star

Two men are painting the lines in a strip of Texas road devastated by wildfires the previous year. They meet two people onscreen and talk about many more who are off-screen in an quiet but beautiful film fueled only by the lovely scenery and the performances by the two leads, Paul Rudd, a lean and muscular man with a funny mustache and a fat and whiny Emile Hirsch (gone is the lean, Speed Racer glory) paint and talk, cry and get angry over the space of a few weeks. Due to superb direction and writing, this is kept from just being a “two guys in a funny situation” flick or a heavy handed “crying me a river in nature” film that it could have been. You feel the late 1980s in the hairstyles, tube socks, and lack of cell phones. Rudd’s character Alvin is reserved and plays the stiff straight man well. This doesn’t mean he won’t accept an empowered brewsky and a cigar from a stranger which he does. It is perhaps the actor’s best performance so far. It really gets me excited to see what he will be able to do in the upcoming Marvel film “Antman.” Much concerning relationships with women is discussed in such a natural, unaffected way that we feel for the men, their problems made so epic due to the wide, encircling natural surroundings and absence of other characters to laugh or sycophantically react to the men. The off-screen events are completely depicted in speech :no flashbacks, or narrated simulations distract us from the seemingly endless nature. There is a sort of running gag of the men watching a passing car until it drives out of sight that I liked. It drives home at just how in the middle of nowhere they both really are. There’s a mini-crisis which drives both men into an alcohol driven round of “silly time” which I didn’t think went with the theme of natural realism for which the film was shooting so well. The scene is cathartic and in the end, necessary in a world filled with painted straight lines to lead the way to some place where, as the time traveling Doc Brown would say, “we don’t need roads.”

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