Monday, June 17, 2013

SFF Review: Prince Avalanche (David Gordon Green, 2013)

David Gordon Green has had a fascinatingly checkered career. After some promising early films, his most recent works range from inconsistent (Pineapple Express) to flat out abysmal (Your Highness) but this very funny offbeat buddy comedy is one of the surprise gems of the Sydney Film Festival and a highly competent return to form for the writer-director. Gordon Green was awarded Best Director at 2013 Berlinale and this wonderfully executed tale of broken masculinity and unlikely friendship is strange and unforgettable.

Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) are two mismatched road maintenance workers mending an area ravaged by bushfires in 1988. Isolated from their city lives, and sharing very little in common, they find naturally themselves at odds with one another. They repaint lines, install new signage and live off the elements. Every weekend they have time off and while Lance journeys back into the city to party and try and get laid, Alvin enjoys the solitude offered by the job and often stays back alone. Though they are of a different generation, Alvin is about in his early 40’s and Lance in his mid 20’s, they eventually start to develop a bond beyond the woman – Lance’s sister & Alvin’s girlfriend – that united them, and have a series of life-affirming misadventures.

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