Ain't Them Bodies Saints, directed by David Lowery (2013)
While I'm still reeling from the experience that is David Lowery's A Ghost Story, and let it gestate so that I can figure out how to write about it, I thought I would revisit the film with which I was introduced to the promising and intriguing director.
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara play a young outlaw couple. They are wild and in love and naive, but when they find themselves cornered by the law, Affleck's Bob takes the fall for his love. Four years later, he breaks out of prison, meaning to reunite with her, and to meet his son.
In nearly every way, Ain't Them Bodies Saints represents a timeless piece of Americana. The rich composition, the sometimes steady sometimes sweeping cinematography, the quiet score, all serve as a kind of homage to the filmmakers who defined this genre--think Terrence Malick with Badlands--while still standing as its own quiet, poetic rumination on the idea, the symbol, of the "outlaw couple." This film brings nothing new except its honesty and sense of authenticity, both with its storytelling and with its filmmaking. And the trio that makes up its center--Affleck, Rooney Mara, and Ben Foster--offer strong understated performances.
I didn't fall in love with the film the way some did, and what has stuck with me more than the melodrama of its story is the way it made me feel, the environments and settings that it drifts through (and that beautiful color palette), and the excitement to have discovered David Lowery as a filmmaker. It's no groundbreaker, but it never tries to be, and in that way is a great film, one worth watching and absorbing while it lasts.
#aintthembodiessaints #davidlowery #caseyaffleck #rooneymara #benfoster