Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
Running time: 94mins
The lowdown: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch renew their ultra-indie credentials with David Gordon Green’s sweet, rambling charmer. Based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way, Rudd and Hirsch play two listless guys repainting roadside yellow lines following a California forest fire. Not one for those wanting fast-paced excitement, but breezily pleasant with enough depth to make it worthwhile.
The full verdict: Best known as the director of Pineapple Express, The Sitter and (urgh) Your Highness, David Gordon Green returns to the indie roots of his earlier films George Washington and All the Real Girls for Prince Avalanche.
Rudd (bizarrely resembling Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood mode) is Alvin, a self-important dreamer, studying German and saving money so he can and his (unseen, but heard) love can go travelling.
Alvin hires his girlfriend’s brother, Lance (Hirsch), to help him fulfill the mind-numbing task of repainting the yellow lines, and his frequent run-ins with the feckless younger man form the movie’s spine.
Very much a “snapshot” movie, Prince Avalanche offers a glimpse into the lives of two men stuck in a dead-end job, unlikely to achieve their dreams any time soon (which in Lance’s case is merely getting lucky with a local girl).
Punctuating the low-level bickering are encounters with a salt-of-the-earth truck driver with booze always to hand and a woman revisiting smoky ruins of her house.
What could have become a Terrence Malick-alike morose trip through stunningly photographed charred California forests instead becomes a minor gem thanks to amusing performances, a script blending mundane chatter with moments of quiet profundity and a winning score from David Wingo and band Explosions in the Sky.
Timed about right at 94 minutes, it’s still a little bittersweet when the end credits hit and you realise just how pleasurable it was spending time with these misfits.