COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 29min; 2013
STARRING: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
Walking the line: from left, Hirsch and Rudd
Paul Rudd can clown around with the best of them — Anchorman, anyone? — but not so much this time. As road worker Alvin, painting dividing lines in a widely torched Texas of 1988 with tail-chasing underling Lance (Into the Wild ’s Hirsch), Rudd essentially plays it pensive/straight. For Alvin is one serious guy. When not devoted to the exacting yet mind-numbing task at hand, he likes to fish and he relishes solitude. And there’s plenty of it to relish as Snow Angels director David Gordon Green, who adapted his screenplay from the 2011 Icelandic feature Either Way (Á Annan Veg), soaks up the atmospheric wilderness (actually Bastrop State Park in Central Texas).
Solitude can be a catalyst, too. Each facing a separate crossroads, the two men fall out, which is awkward and droll, then get plastered and reconcile, which proves to be enlivening for them both. Rudd and Hirsch sail through every ticklish turn, their unforced harmony the multifaceted gift that makes this small and inward-gazing movie so worth watching.