Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shotgun Stories

In Arkansas, two brothers were abused and abandoned by their alcoholic father who reformed himself and started a new family, having two more sons. The film begins with the father's death, and his first two sons decide to crash the funeral at which the man is now fondly remembered. Thus begins the feud between the two sets of half brothers. Shotgun Stories does not provide the kind of film you would expect from the plot description. Rather, it is a slow-moving and observant southern drama directed by first time director Jeff Nichols, made in the same vein as the David Gordon Green indies (Green was one of the film's producers). The performance of Michael Shannon as the oldest step-brother is worth noting as well. He chooses not to play the role as an angry redneck, but as an intelligent young man. Shannon is proving himself to be one of the finer actors of his generation.
*** out of ****