107 minutes, U.S.A., 2013, Colour, D-Cinema

A breakthrough feature for director-writer David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was immediately celebrated as special after its premiere at Sundance earlier this year, when breathless reviews made effusive comparisons to Altman and Malick. While these influences are undeniably evident, Lowery is more of a torchbearer for a particular type of elegiac, romantic American cinema rather than a mere copyist, and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints emerges as one of the most significant and brilliant U.S. indies of recent times. Set in Texas hill country during the 1970s, though with an enigmatic timeless quality, Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck are both excellent as an outlaw couple separated by their own misdemeanors, Ben Foster is equally good as the local sheriff drawn to Mara’s character, while Keith Carradine’s casting as a wizened father figure is inspired. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)

This film will be one of three films discussed in September’s The Critical Take, our FREE monthly film club, on Thursday, September 26th at 18.30. Simply request your FREE ticket at the IFI Box Office.

IFI has changed from a monthly schedule to a weekly schedule. Screening times of New Releases and IFI Classics will now be announced on a weekly basis. Read our news item here.

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