13 August 2013 | Sergeant_Tibbs
Utterly refreshing. Green is back. Rudd shines.
All hope was lost for David Gordon Green. After a string of cult-ready indie flicks, he sold out in the best possible way and made the hilarious Pineapple Express. I hoped it was a one off, or at least, that he would remain good at comedy. But the disappointing Your Highness and the 'I- can't-even-bear-to-look-at-its-IMDb-page' The Sitter don't look too promising for his future. Now with Prince Avalanche, it seems like he's taken a good look at himself and realized what he does best. Small scale dramas concerning the human condition, especially regarding romantic relationships. I always love good films about little-thought of jobs and the guys who do the line painting of the roads in the middle of nowhere is a fascinating one. Prince Avalanche is a dual character study of an introvert and an extrovert but goes beyond the 'odd couple' clichés. Together, they cover enough ground to find relatable areas, and with dialogue-driven scenes, it cuts to the core of what they live for and how that drive changes and grows throughout the course of the film.
Paul Rudd is absolutely outstanding here. I'm so glad he's finally found a role to test his dramatic talent without having to ignore his brand of comedy, though much of the humour of this film is incidental and sparse. He's incredibly subtle and commanding. Unfortunately, Emile Hirsch looks amateur next to Rudd and he rarely feels as sincere. Sometimes the little conflicts between them suffer because of it which make the film feel slower than it is, but they still drive the character development in an interesting way. Rudd aside, the highlight of the film is the great cinematography. Sometimes the cutaways and montages are more emotionally engaging than the words as they think of all the symbols possible in this environment with these characters. It's a film that conjures a mood more than anything and it reassures me that David Gordon Green never left, he was just taking a break. I regret that I've more or less forgotten what happens in his first four films but Avalanche makes me want to revisit them soon. It's a beautiful simple film which ends on a lovely hopeful note. A true catharsis from the social order of life and utterly refreshing to watch.