Every tragedy begins with a spark of misplaced hope. In the case of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, that spark flares between young, impoverished lovers Ruth Guthrie and Bob Muldoon. After a crime of desperation spirals into an all-out gun battle with local police, Bob ends up going to prison while Ruth gives birth to their child. When Bob escapes and begins a journey across Texas to reunite with his love, he can’t imagine the consequences of his actions.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is the highest-profile directorial project of prolific film editor David Lowery (Upstream Color). The movie stars Casey Affleck (ParaNorman), Rooney Mara (Side Effects), Ben Foster (Contraband), and Keith Carradine (Cowboys & Aliens).
Though the first trailer for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints leaves the larger arc of its plot somewhat enigmatic, it certainly makes an impression stylistically. If the preview is to be believed, the film looks to swing back and forth between painful interpersonal drama and a tense manhunt. With its grand rural cinematography and hushed voiceover, it evokes some of the early work of Terrence Malick (To the Wonder) – especially Badlands.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints has garnered a good deal of buzz at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Director Lowery is considered an up-and-coming talent in the industry, having used his festival success to sign on with a remake of Pete’s Dragon and a possible stint adapting the comic book Torso. Will Ain’t Them Bodies Saints mark the official flourishing of Lowery’s career? For most of us, we’ll have to wait until August to find out.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints will debut in US theaters on August 16th, 2013.