Cannes Festival Spotlight: ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’

cannes festival

This years Cannes Festival has come and gone, and from what I’ve seen there have been some really good films on show.  Of course, it always does, being one of the biggest in the world.  I’ve been researching all the information I can on how some of the films were received by the Cannes crowd, and I’ve also been looking for some gems that I wasn’t aware of before reading into the festival.  The first of these Cannes Festival films is a cinematic, western style drama called ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.’

The film is an independent movie written and directed by David Lowery, and starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster.  The movie revolves around a married couple played by Mara and Affleck and their troubles with the law.  Ben Foster plays a police sheriff on the other side.   What we see in the trailer shows the couple in their home being surrounded by police, and Mara’s character Ruth shoots and wounds a police officer (who I believe was Foster, but it was hard to tell!).  Her husband, Bob decides to take the blame for the shot, and as a result is carted off the jail, leaving his pregnant wife behind to wait until he gets out.

What follows is Affleck’s escape and effort to get back to his wife and the daughter he is yet to meet.  We also see some interesting stuff between Foster and Mara, which suggests that the lines between the two sides of the law and between the couple’s devotion to one another may blur a little bit as things progress.

I haven’t seen Casey Affleck in much lately, but I am actually a big fan (Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of the Outlaw Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford are two of my favorites).  The film actually gives off a similar vibe to ‘Assassination of Jesse James’ but I’ve also read a lot of people mentioning that it appears like a ‘more accessible version of Terrance Malick’s earlier stuff.’  To me, this sounds pretty damn awesome.  I actually like Malick’s stuff but I understand that it isn’t for everyone.  If you take out some of the self indulgence and over ambiguities, you are left with some fantastic visual and sensory stuff, and this film seems to be oozing with both.  Perhaps that’s why it took home the Cinematography Award at Cannes in it’s drama category.

The film was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, and looks to be a bit of an independent tour de force from what I can see.  I am a huge sucker for dark, gritty and barren style westerns like ‘No Country For Old Men’ or the underrated ‘The Proposition.’ and this movie seems to fall right into those categories, with a slightly more romantic spin.  I’m definitely eager to get my hands on this one when it comes out!

Check out the trailer here:

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