Reviewed: Prince Avalanche (2013)

prince_avalanche_ver3_xlgDavid Gordon Green’s directorial resume includes such films as Pineapple Express, Your Highness and the TV series Eastbound & Down. I enjoyed these things to varying degrees and each has similar themes (and Danny McBride). This little gem, based on an Icelandic film called Either Way, is somewhat different to those previous efforts – it’s also a great little flick.

Prince Avalanche follows the story of Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) as they toil away on a road that makes its way through recently fire-ravaged forestland. It’s the Summer of 1988 and this lonely work consists of painting the dividing lines down the middle of the road. It’s a long way removed from the busy city living that they’ve taken time out from to do this job.

Alvin’s relationship with his girlfriend (Lance’s sister) hasn’t been the smoothest as of late but he’s sure that if he gives her the space he thinks she needs then she’ll come round and everything will work itself out. As a favour to her, he’s brought Lance along to get him some extra cash for the Summer.

The isolation affects the pair differently and what we’re left with is an odd couple situation with each having to learn a little about the other and themselves in the process.

Essentially it’s Rudd and Hirsch playing off each other for the whole film with a minimal supporting cast that pop in and out from time to time, such as a truck driver (Lance LeGault) who generously gives them some kind of moonshine to help pass the time.Prince-Avalanche-still-2There is a good balance of humour and poignancy that I find gratifying in films like this and David Gordon Green’s loose directing style promotes a level of improvisation, which showcases our actors’ talents well. The added bonus of a score by Explosions In The Sky doesn’t hurt either.

It’s a modest yet rewarding story which would be perfect to watch on a rainy afternoon.

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