I’m a big fan of Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd so a film starring both of them is exactly the sort of film I like. Throw in some exceptionally beautiful shots of natural landscapes and that’s the sort of film I really like.
Prince Avalanche has sort of side-stepped the big paper reviews, which is strange considering the hollywood names attached to it. It caught some attention when it was revealed Joyce Payne was given an impromptu cameo role when the film crew stumbled across her hunting through the rubble of her house, which had been destroyed six months earlier in the worst wildfire in Texas history in a wide brimmed red sun hat. But the film itself was little mentioned. Sadly this is probably due to the fact that it’s classed as an ‘indie flick’. Not enough sex, not enough blood, not mainstream enough for headlines.
The film is a new sort for the director of blockbuster, gore and drug filled Pineapple Express. It’s quiet, calm, gentle, solitary. An meditation on the friendship between two disparate men employed to repaint the yellow road lines in a Texas state park that’s been wiped clean by wildfires. It’s slow to start and unusually silent. My friend commented it made her ‘ears hurt’ straining for a sound. But it doesn’t need to be fast, this isn’t an action packed thriller. This is an exploration for director, cast, crew and audience. The camera lingers on the astounding views and the achingly sad wreckages of lost homes, allowing your mind to wander and contemplate the material destruction compared to the continuation and rebirth of nature.
As you can probably already guess it’s not the most uplifting of films, at least not at the start. Alvin (Rudd) has escaped into the wilderness to deal with his depression, whilst Lance (Hirsch), the brother of Alvin’s girlfriend, is an adult trapped in a teen’s body, who cries about not getting laid on his weekend away. There are humorous moments but they’re underlined by the tragic realisation that both characters are trapped in their own delusions.
The story is simple, real. No plot twists, no gasps. And unbelievably touching. It won’t win any oscars, but it will stay with you.
Give the trailer a go: