Ben Oliver

Banner image for Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Every day I wake up thinking today’s the day I’m gonna see you. And one of those days, it will be so. And then we can ride off to somewhere. Somewhere far away.
05 April 2015

A couple, Bob & Ruth, (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) get caught up in criminal activities. When they eventually get caught by the police, the man takes the blame and goes to jail while the woman raises their child. Four years on Bob escapes and seeks to rejoin his family.

The effort to remind us of New Hollywood and Terence Malick stands out from the get go. The cinematography owes a lot to Malick, not a bad thing at all, it’s very pretty. It’s a shame then that the actual final product lacks focus.

We follow two storylines, Bob on the run from jail and Ruth raising her daughter. Neither are very well developed. This is disappointing for a story that sets out with such intrigue.

Everything about Ain’t Them Bodies Saints should be great; Lowery makes 70s Texas seem timeless; Affleck and Mara are very talented actors and are wonderful in their roles; the soundtrack is emotional and sets just the right tone. However, the core idea of the film is poorly executed, and the end result is a dull tale that goes nowhere.