In 1987 43000 woodland acres in central Texas were burned by wildfires. Approximately 1600 homes were destroyed and four lives were lost. The cause of the fires remains unknown. Set a year after the fires writer and director David Gordon Green (Joe 2013) based this ‘buddy movie’ on an Icelandic comedy film by Hafsteinn Gunner Sigurdsson called Either Way (2011). Two men are repainting the lines that ran down the middle of roads that meander there way through the area of the disaster. The older of the two is Alvin (Paul Rudd) who has been using this isolated work place to escape from the realities of life. That is until his girlfriend’s brother Lance (Emile Hursch) comes to work with him. Unlike Alvin, Lance is more at home in the city than in the countryside.
The two men form a tenuous relationship at first, with Lance going off at the weekend to ‘party’ leaving Alvin to daydream about his imagined life with his work mates sister Madison. Alvin also meets a strange old lady that’s searching in the burned ashes of her home to find her pilots licence! When a slightly unhinged truck driver leaves alcohol with the two roadmen they start to bond - helped by a drunken binge!
Effectively a two hander that’s both human and personnel and although sedately paced it’s a captivating wee film that never looses your interest. Our two leads handle the subtle humour extremely competently and the DOP Tom Orr makes a great deal of the burnt out landscape’s giving an eerie feel to the movie. Shot on location in Bastrop County Texas where in September 2011 the most destructive wildfire in Texas history took place!