So, yeah, I get it.
And now we get Prince Avalanche. Shot in secret for a slim $60,000, the film tells the story of two road workers: tight assed Alvin (Paul Rudd) and dimwitted Lance (Emile Hirsch). Alvin and Lance are repainting road lines after a random wildfire tore the land apart. When they’re not working, they are bickering about living habits, work attitudes, the complications of friendship, and, most amusingly, the dedication of romantic relationships. (The fact that Alvin is dating Lance’s sister makes those conversations particularly fun).
The result is a breezy film that acts as an authentic mediation of life, acceptance and understanding. In the midst of Alvin and Lance’s purposefully silly conversations lies an overwhelming truth. It’s something that is difficult to explain in print, but a pleasure to watch unfold on screen via the confidence of such a strong filmmaker.
In addition to Rudd (who here delivers his least Paul Rudd performance in years, thankfully) and Hirsch (perhaps his most amusing role to date), cinematographer Tim Orr captures the film’s Texas landscape with poise and utter beauty. Orr has lensed every one of Green’s films, but Prince Avalanche is reminiscent of his work on George Washington, which is a very high compliment. In total, Prince Avalanche contains four actors, but Explosion in the Sky’s perfect music is as much a character in the film as anyone else. In Prince Avalanche, Green has once again made room for patience. He proves that with a skilled cinematographer and proper music, following a turtle through the woods for an extended period of time can actually be quite beautiful.
I adored Prince Avalanche as a film, but what I appreciate most is its signaling of a return to form for one of America’s most unique voices. Welcome back, David Gordon Green, the cinematic landscape wasn’t the same without you. B+