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Ain't Them Bodies Saints
★★☆☆☆
First run Theater cinema
Ain't Them Bodies Saints, a poetic crime drama set in the 1970s and made very much in the style of seventies romantic noir, is the second feature from writer/director David Lowery. To tell his story of an outlaw that jumps jail to reunite with his wife and infant daughter, Lowery utilizes distinctive seventies filmmaking techniques, like shooting in widescreen 35mm with abundant use of shadows and the golden light of sunset. The characters in his story say far more with long glances and silent stretches of introspection than they do with dialogue. The spot-on cast (Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Rami Malek) all look and perform like they just stepped out of a film by Terrence Malick, Bob Rafelson, Robert Altman or any of the other 70s auteurs Lowery clearly wants to emulate.  Keith Carradine (iconic star of Altman’s Thieves Like Us) plays a key role, making the picture feel even more like a film from forty years ago. But Ain't Them Bodies Saints never rises above its homage-prone style to become a film that stands on its own. Lowery has made a self-consciously atmospheric tone poem but not an emotional drama or engaging thriller. The individual techniques employed in the movie do not add up to a satisfying end; it’s like eating all the ingredients of a cake that hasn’t been baked yet. I certainly appreciate the intention and attempt made in Ain't Them Bodies Saints, but I can’t call it a success.
Directed by David Lowery
Produced by Cassian Elwes, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, and Amy Kaufman

Written by David Lowery

With: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Keith Carradine, Kennadie Smith, Jacklynn Smith, Nate Parker, Robert Longstreet, Charles Baker, Augustine Frizzell, Kentucker Audley, David Zellner, Turner Ross, and Rami Malek

Cinematography: Bradford Young
Editing: Jane Rizzo and Craig McKay
Music: Daniel Hart

Runtime: 96 min
Release Date: 16 August 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Color