New Jerusalem Reviews

Page 1 of 1
½ May 27, 2015
Alverson's film offers a study of two very different men trying to form a friendship for two very different reasons. The film is intimate, intense and disturbing but oddly ambiguous. Both are employed at a tire station. Their work is labor intensive, but oppressively mundane. Colm O'Leary plays an immigrant new to the US via a stint in US Army in Afghanistan. He is clearly being pulled deep into depression. It is not entirely clear if this related to PTSD, the challenges of adjusting to life in a new land, loneliness or combination of them all. Will Oldham plays Ike, a born again Christian who is determined to connect with Sean and convince him that the key to life and depression is faith in Jesus Christ. What makes this film interesting is the intensity created and the intimacy the two men explore. The film is also an uncomfortable look at male bonding. While Alverson is focused on these two specific characters, it does provide a challenging idea about the need of friendship between two men. Ultimately, the viewer is never clear on why these two characters put up with each other. Aversion is not interested in resolving the tension and conflict. And, this is really the major "fail" of the movie. We are left with a film that is just sad without any sort of emotional or narrative pay off. Even still, Aversion's camera work is exceptional as are the performances by both O'Leary and Oldham. This movie should not be dismissed. The viewer walks away with a great deal of ideas to think about.
Page 1 of 1