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Ain't Them Bodies Saints


Stars: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, Keith Carradine

Director: David Lowery

Gloom and doom, US indie-style. Muckily photographed in semi-darkness, presumably to provide atmosphere, and underscored by mournful music, the story focuses (perhaps an inappropriate word) on modern-day Texas outlaw Bob (Affleck) and his wife Ruth (Mara). She seems at the outset about to walk out on him, but is soon taking part in his latest robbery, which ends with her shooting the cop (Foster) who rather fancies her, in the shoulder.

Cleaning her prints off the gun, Bob takes the rap while Ruth has their baby. And of course there's buried loot.

If this sounds exciting, then I have misled you. The pace is soporific and, apart from some gunplay at the end, when bounty hunters close in on the fugitive Bob, who has escaped from prison, there's no action at all, but a lot of mooning around.

Affleck is rather too far into his character, making some of his dialogue unintelligible, but Mara has a firmer grip on her role. Carradine has a rare latter-day part as the elderly guy next door who keeps a paternal eye on her and he's fine.

There are certainly the makings of a good movie here, but the lacklustre camerawork and the director's staccato narrative drive fail to provide one. Very indie and very forgettable.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: The Works. Colour by Kodak.
96 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 03 Sep 2013