The Motel Life (2012)

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The Motel Life: Directed by Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky. With Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Doc Divecchio, Nancy Youngblut. A pair of working-class brothers flee their Reno Motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

“Movies like this only come around every half century or so. The last time, the name of the movie was u0026quot;Midnight Cowboy.u0026quot; This time, itu0026#39;s u0026quot;The Motel Life,u0026quot; which is based on a cult debut novel by Willy Vlautin published in 2006. Itu0026#39;s the story of two close-knit brothers, bonded together by the untimely death of their mother when theyu0026#39;re in their early teens. Since then, these brothers have been inseparable, living rough on societyu0026#39;s fringes due to no fault of their own. When the movie opens, the brothers are living in their hometown of Reno, Nevada in the cheap-motel miasma on the u0026quot;otheru0026quot; side of town. Although oneu0026#39;s a gifted artist and the other is an accomplished storyteller, they live at the bottom of the economic pile with nothing but odd jobs for support.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe two brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, are played by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff respectively with about as much emotional depth and raw credibility as youu0026#39;re likely to ever see portrayed on screen. The supporting cast includes Kris Kristofferson—in a truly moving performance—and Dakota Fanning who also gives a terrific accounting of her character. The inspired animation of Mike Smith adds substantially to the movie as well, cleanly delineating the u0026quot;realu0026quot; world from Franku0026#39;s fantasies.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLike u0026quot;Midnight Cowboy,u0026quot; this film deals with many dark, adult themes. u0026quot;Midnight Cowboyu0026quot; was made in 1969. It was highly controversial back then but itu0026#39;s now listed as #36 on the American Film Instituteu0026#39;s Top 100 Greatest Movies of all time. If youu0026#39;re squeamish or prudish about what you see on screen, this might not be your film, but if you can stand to look at a portion of society that you likely donu0026#39;t see often or ever, you will be rewarded by the tremendous performances in this film.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYouu0026#39;re going to have to work a bit harder than usual to find this movie when it opens on November 8. It will open in only 20 markets. But it will be worth the quest. We saw it early as part of the ongoing efforts of Tim Sika and the San Jose Camera Cinema Club. After the showing, the audience talked with Stephen Dorff via Skype for 45 minutes. Dorff shared a lot of background that greatly enhanced the experience. Thanks Tim.”

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