Most of the most acclaimed movies to come along generally come in under the radar with a limited release. These films also tend to only resonate with certain audiences, but more often than not live up to the hype. The latest Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is one of those films that sports a great cast with Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, and Keith Carradine, but does it live up to it’s praise?
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints follows an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across Texas to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. The first half of the film is a bit rushed but not necessarily in a bad way, although if you do not pay attention you may get a bit lost for a short time. The filmmaker uses this rushed technique to get to the bigger part of the story, but does manage to skip over some aspects that could have given it a bigger impact. Beyond this minor issue, the film still works really well thanks mostly to the great performances by Casey Affleck, Ben Foster and Keith Carradine. All of these guys have history of delivering the goods so it comes as no surprise that they do it here too, but some of their performances are both subtle and powerful all at once. Affleck brings his usual laid back performance, but somehow manages to bring such power to the role that he elevates every scene he is in. While the film takes place in a more present day setting, its visual style gives it more of a period piece look adding to the overall experience helping it to stand out. The story is pretty simple and nothing that hasn’t been done in some way before, but the strong performances and visuals make for a powerful movie that lives up to the hype.
There is some predictability to where this film is headed the outcome, but somehow manages to feel fresh and original. This is one of those movies that at first glance may not catch your eye, but rest assured it’s a great movie that is worth checking out.