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4.0 out of 5 stars Mara and Affleck are superb
Wonderfully shot and it reminded me of a Malick film and wondefully acted. Mara is a truly fantastic new and up and coming actress. And Affleck is always a great watch. Its slow and moody and well worth a watch
Published 1 month ago by mt b r thompson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left in the dark
I was drawn by positive reviews to this Texas backwoods tale of Bob and Ruth, two lovers who get caught up in a shoot-out with the local law officers. Bob takes the rap and goes to jail, leaving Ruth to bear and bring up their child, swearing to wait for him. This has all the potential for a drama of doomed love, but despite good performances from Rooney Mara as Ruth,...
Published 10 months ago by Antenna


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left in the dark, 8 Sep 2013
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I was drawn by positive reviews to this Texas backwoods tale of Bob and Ruth, two lovers who get caught up in a shoot-out with the local law officers. Bob takes the rap and goes to jail, leaving Ruth to bear and bring up their child, swearing to wait for him. This has all the potential for a drama of doomed love, but despite good performances from Rooney Mara as Ruth, Patrick Wheeler as the soulful sheriff waiting in the wings for Ruth's favours and Keith Carradine as the storekeeper who brought up the young couple "gone to the bad" I was left frustrated and disappointed by the film.

What one professional reviewer has described as "elliptical storytelling and dreamy magic-hour light" struck me as a very confusing presentation of key details and an underlit, wavering filming technique which often makes it well nigh impossible to see what is going on. Too often, an important scene is flashed onto the screen for a fraction of a second, leaving the viewer unsure what has happened - who shot whom or why. Worst of all, Case Affleck's drawl renders Bob incomprehensible half the time. Although clearly handsome, he comes across as monumentally stupid and dull. In order to make us care about Bob and Ruth, the writer/director needed to develop their characters, relationships and complex motives for their crime.

Although the recent "Beyond the Pines" was flawed, it succeeded better in this type of theme.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SAINTS AND SINNERS, 14 July 2014
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Ever since Gone Baby Gone and Brad Pitts Jesse james film a few years ago i could see Casey Affleck wasnt just in the shadows the little brother of Ben Affleck but a true actor here he gives a very touching loving turn as Bob Muldoon who is doing time for a crime he didnt commit for the love of his life Ruth Guthrie played by the top of her class Rooney Mara as years pass Bob escapes prison and sets out to look for Ruth and their daughter. The film is slow moving but has some beautiful moments between Affleck and Mara it reminds me a little of Bonnie and cylde. I think one time is enough to this film i enjoyed it but i dont think i would watch again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mara and Affleck are superb, 1 Jun 2014
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints (DVD)
Wonderfully shot and it reminded me of a Malick film and wondefully acted. Mara is a truly fantastic new and up and coming actress. And Affleck is always a great watch. Its slow and moody and well worth a watch
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story for the patient viewer, 29 Jan 2014
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Beautifully written and superbly acted this love story amongst poor white trash in rural Texas is not for the impatient viewer who needs start to finish action.
Afleck and Mara play a young couple who get involved in robberies and when they are finally cornered by the police a deputy is shot and wounded. Afleck takes the blame and goes to prison without knowing that his wife is pregnant. Four years later he breaks out and sets out to find them but not everyone who is after him is on the right side of the law and will his wife want him back after so long?
This is a slow moving film with an authentic feel that is well worth watching, can't find anything bad to say about it really.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ain't half bad, 16 Sep 2013
What is it about the Deep South that's so evocative in cinema? Maybe it's the timelessness. Ain't Them Bodies Saints could be set at any time during the past forty years. The sun seems forever rising or setting in this region, and filmmakers can't help but point their lens in its direction, silhouetting their beautiful actors. Terrence Malick has a lot to answer for.

It's hard not to think of Malick's first film, Badlands, when watching this. The story concerns a couple of young Texan criminals, painfully in love. When Ruth (Rooney Mara) shoots policeman Patrick (Ben Foster), her lover Bob (Casey Affleck) takes the blame and goes to jail. Bob promises he'll come for Ruth, and duly escapes incarceration. Meanwhile, Patrick is making moves on Ruth, oblivious to her guilt. All of this is under the wise, watchful eye of Skerritt, played wonderfully by Keith Carradine. As Bob closes in on Ruth, the cops and the gangsters close in on Bob.

There are times during Ain't Them Bodies Saints when writer-director David Lowery's style and technique comes across as mimicry, of Malick and also of Jeff Nichols, as well as countless American movies from the 1970s. Thankfully, he also has an interesting story to tell, and it is one presented with rich textures. At times the film flows like a visual poem, with Bradford Young's evocative cinematography melding perfectly with Daniel Hart's stirring music. The effect is of something exquisitely handmade.

Affleck's mumbled delivery here exudes danger; he's mythologising himself in the same way he once mythologised Jesse James. Mara is sentimentalised as the angelic mother, but Lowery is wise enough to suggest that this comely vulnerability is an act also - a sophisticated defence against hard men secretly seeking softness.

Perhaps the film veers too closely at times toward stylish vagueness and too far from the broken heart of the story. But there is no denying this is a serious, authored work of art.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Class Act, 9 Sep 2013
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I saw this at the cinema. It is a beautiful, lyrical film. If you loved The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford then you will love this. I am haunted by it. Rooney Mara has never been better and Casey Affleck shows his class again. There isn't a duff performance in the whole film. A wonderful, timeless piece of movie making. See it and buy the DVD.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ain't Them Bodies Saints: Once upon a time..., 21 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a beautiful film: not just aesthetically, although it is that, but above all in it's tone and emotion. The essence of the film, to me, is a feeling. It creeps and seeps inside of you, slowly, into your chest and once it's there it lingers. It sounds an airy-fairy thing to say, but this feeling is the film's power. Obviously, as with any feeling, not everyone will feel it. But if you do, it sticks around long after the film ends. I hope that if no more, the way I talk about the rest of the film will give an idea whether you may enjoy.

Because the feeling is the strength of the film, talking about the plot seems irrelevant other than to say that this is not the tale of two outlaws, more a story of love, yearning and of fantasy and idealism versus reality, responsibility and growing up. Indeed, the plot itself is the least relevant aspect of the film, and in a sense, the characters are fairly everyday in "film world". It's a small story about love and life with big, mythic feelings.

It isn't an abstract art-house film: there is a plot there, but it's quite insubstantial: almost like it's not fully realized just as Bob's fantasies about his notoriety and future are just this: myths. This vagueness in story means that at times the characters too seem only just about real - as though if you were to reach out and touch them they might just disperse into the air: Ruth and Sylvie's relationship is so idyllic, literally angelic: with Sylvie cherubic and Ruth sometimes looking like the Madonna; Patrick is the definition of gentility such that he seems almost a cipher to it, and Bob is so consumed by Ruth that she and his daughter are literally his entire world. This creates the sense that all of these beings are close to the film's title somehow and adds to the mythic, fairytale nature of the world we are in.

The biggest strengths of the film, for me are the acting, the cinematography, the poetry (in language, music and visually) and the way the film gets inside you so you feel as the characters feel.

Taking these one at a time: The actors do an amazing job: all in subtle ways. For me, Casey Affleck is the heart of the film and it is Bob's love, yearning and steadfast belief in an impossible future that drove my feelings and was the basis for the most heartbreaking elements of Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Everyone else plays their roles excellently but I doubt I would have felt much from the film overall without the emotion brought from Bob. Worth noting too is that Affleck and Mara have a great chemistry in the few scenes they have together so that in these fleeting moments, you really buy their love for each other.

The film is shot beautifully and also interestingly. I loved the way many scenes seem like works of art, imbued with meaning and atmosphere in themselves. However, you also have shots at that hour when the sun starts to dip, which fits with the time (after all the crimes, near an ending) where the film is set. And indeed you have a lot of darkness. There are many REALLY dark scenes wherein you can't see the nuance of actors' expressions. Yet the dark gives an emotion of it's own. I don't doubt this darkness won't work for everyone though.

The poetry... The film is in a way redolent of a poem or song in the sense that it makes you feel without telling every detail. Some of the language is beautiful and Bob speaks of Ruth at times as though she is a poem. But more than this it's the combination of words, image and music that creates the poetry.

Although the film doesn't delve too deep into characterization, the feelings you feel are very much those the characters experience. We feel Bob's yearning to reach Ruth and his daughter. Another device in the film that I think adds a lot to the feeling is the way the film uses flashbacks. These occur as very fleeting glimpses of moments from the past, working like memories. Such scenes are often from Ruth's perspective and through these we feel her love as she remembers it. There's some sort of a resonance in the fact that the things we all remember tend to be significant, powerful somehow and so these glimpses take on this intensity.

Talking of feeling, I found the film very sensual: in terms of it's cinematography, how characters are with each other and sometimes objects take on this dimension too. The music is very atmospheric, adding much to the feel of the film and sometimes following the emotion very closely, other times blending in with the music and sounds used by characters. Silence is also used to great effect.

The ending of the film is emotional and *right* for the film. I shan't say more so as to give nothing away, but it really lingered with me and as well as being impactive in itself, said something about those issues I spoke of at the start of this: about the stories we spin. One of the best parts of the film for me that I find it's ending near perfect.

Overall, I loved the way the film got across it's feeling without too much telling it to us. In this respect I am very interested to see what Director David Lowery will put on the big screen in the future.

I adore the film myself and I hope anyone encouraged to seek it out loves it too!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring film, 13 May 2014
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints (DVD)
Ain't them bodies saint's ..boring film, all talking with that southern drawl..could'nt tell what they were saying, sent me to sleep
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, sad and touching., 26 Feb 2014
By 
daniela mirra (torino, italy, IT) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Interesting direction and amazing photography. Glad to see Carradine.
I do not understand why in Italy is impossible to watch a good picture like that..
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film (But got it a week earlier from HMV), 6 Feb 2014
This review is from: Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
So, firstly, I managed to buy this film a whole week before it comes out as HMV are selling it exclusively - if that was not the case, I would have indeed brought it from Amazon.

Onto the film - it will not be for everyone. If you are entertained by giant robots randomly fighting and destroying cities, whilst the man is looking all muscular and the woman is pouting - then this is not the film for you, try Transformers ;)

However, if you like story driven film, full of metaphorical meanings and hidden symbolism, then this is for you. The two lead actors (Rooney Mara & Casey Affleck) are truly brilliant and embody the character which they are portraying. The story moves along at a perfect pace and the screenplay and direction are brilliant.

So, to conclude - 5* for the film's quality and overall viewing experience, do see it - It's terribly underrated. Then again, all good films are.
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Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013]
Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013] by David Lowery (DVD - 2014)
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