Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (15)
Directed by David Lowery
Despite being written and directed by David Lowery, this painfully slow-burning Western has all the hallmarks of a Terrence Malick film and it begins where most end with the capture of a pair of Bonnie and Clyde-style outlaws.
It’s set in the 1970s, where we meet lovers Ruth (Rooney Mara) and Bob (Casey Affleck) as they make their last stand.
When Ruth wounds police officer Patrick (Ben Foster) Bob takes the rap for her and is hauled off to jail. Unbeknown to him he is going to become a father.
Four years later Bob escapes from prison and goes in search of his wife and his daughter who have been befriended by Patrick.
This depressing love story is exquisitely shot but it is devoid of any heart, passion or action and, like Malick, Lowery is more interested in the aesthetics and the poetic so the end result is laborious, dull even though it’s sumptuous-looking. The only highlight is Mara’s ever-impressive acting.
If you love old-fashioned Westerns then it is best to give this one a wide berth.
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