Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

September 19, 2013

Prince Avalanche quietly makes a strong impression

By Ryan Maddux and Andy Stuckey
Greensburg Daily News

---- — With the onset of autumn comes a down time in promising releases from Hollywood.

With this in mind, we decided to take a closer look at a smaller movie currently available on demand. Prince Avalanche(R) stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch as two men spending the summer employed painting lines on isolated, rural Texas back roads. David Gordon Green directs.

Ryan: Prince Avalanche is definitely a festival friendly indie drama. Shot on location in a confined area with only a handful of actors, Prince Avalanche represents what a by-the-book indie film looks like. For the most part, Prince Avalanche is a successful movie. It’s shot lyrically—it’s not a typical A-B plot driven movie—but that style works within the framework of the film. With notable performances and a beautiful backdrop, Prince Avalanche is worth viewing.

Andy: The first word that comes to mind when describing this movie is methodical. From the slowly developing opening sequence, to the realistically awkward way the two title characters begin to warm up to each other, Prince Avalanche takes its sweet time to allow scenes and plot to develop. At times, this becomes a bit tedious, but the film manages to pick up momentum in the middle section, and the narrative patience grows into more of an asset than a detriment.

Ryan: The pairing of Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch makes for an interesting duo, but thankfully both actors play to their strengths and deliver suitable and multi-layered performances. Their chemistry with each other propels much of the film along. It is rewarding to see Rudd, who I like a lot, deliver a performance that’s restrained and not a caricature of his rom-com-esque type of performances.

Andy: Rudd’s departure from his standard goofy-but-affable persona is great to see. Rudd has carved out a very nice niche for himself in Hollywood, but he has not shown a great deal of range in his career. He does a great job of creating a realistic character that is a little more subtle than we are used to seeing. And it’s a good thing, too, because Emile Hirsch’s sullen/cocky performance needs to be grounded a little, and Rudd is able to play his foil successfully.

Ryan: One of the biggest strengths of Prince Avalanche is the film’s theme of nature’s impact on an individual. Although the film is set after the results of a horrendous wildfire, the film showcases the rejuvenating powers of nature on an individual’s spirit. While the film has Thoreauvian elements of the link between nature and man, that premise is further explored from the context of the brotherly relationship between Rudd and Hirsch’s characters against the nature backdrop of rebirth.

Prince Avalanche is a very subtle film that is able to overcome a slow start to provide some very valuable moments.

Final grade: B