Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Lowery, 2013)
This review contains heavy spoilers.
You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. –Timothy 4: 6-7
As was no secret to anyone who has viewed the trailer of this film, this is a ‘magic hour’ cinematography feast. I’m not trying to downplay what a plus this was, but that’s the only mention I’ll make of it because what is draped under this aesthetic blanket is just as beautiful. On display is a man so stubborn and naive that what results is a relentless passion to do whatever is necessary to get back to his family. Casey Affleck is perfect in presenting this character – a man with a thousand flaws whose naivety allows him to stay cool and collected in his mission. In no way is he a hero, but at the same time he has characteristics every man should emulate.
Rooney Mara matches Affleck’s performance with her natural presentation of a woman faithful to her love while still realistic of the situation at hand. The progression of her character is amazing to watch as she grows and adapts with the changing circumstances, almost a complete opposite of Affleck’s narrowly focused end goal. Neither is wrong, neither is right; they’re just different. But as the film’s final scene unfolds and the two are reunited as Affleck sits, dying of a gunshot wound, we see the passion that never faded, even when it probably should have. A story of mixed up people, but true determination. 9.25/10