Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Lowery, 2013)

This review contains heavy spoilers.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery, 2013)

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.

ain't them bodies saints

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


2 Responses to “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Lowery, 2013)”

  1. Did not like this film one small bit 😉 Looked like a Vogue shoot (I’m sorry, small town America does not have that perfectly placed ultra-hipster aesthetic) and seriously lacked some heart. Also, there were tons of awkward moments in the script. However, immediately afterwards I saw Malick’s Badlands. It was head and shoulders a better film.

    • Fair enough. 🙂 Though I’m having a hard time placing the ultra-hipster aesthetic you mention. I thought the aesthetics felt natural. As for your comment on heart, no no no. There’s no heart-on-your-sleeve, but there is plenty of layered heart. Maybe it’s because the type of heart I saw here is what I probably look like to an outsider. In other words, maybe I just related to the way these people handled emotion.

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