I’m not entirely sure there was another movie last year that feels quite as warm and wonderful as Prince Avalanche does with it’s beautiful cinematography, understated performances, and humorous but also thought-provoking dialogue. It is the year 1988 and Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch) are repainting traffic lines down the highway which were destroyed by the wild forest fires. The entire film takes place in this forest which is part of why the movie is incredible in my mind because of how it concentrates itself within one setting and uses it to it’s advantage so incredibly well. You will get scene after scene of gorgeous cinematography that not only helps emphasize the tone of the film but it’s amazing to look at as well. The main aspect is these two characters bonding, starting as mostly not liking each other but eventually coming to realize they can be friends. It might sound stereotypical but it’s done in a fun way and interesting way.
The entire thing has this wonderful sense of optimism and happiness despite melancholic happenings and there are few movies from last year that I feel really got that. Most of themes involved love, loneliness, alienation, and confusion. Some sequences early on I feel really display that loneliness especially when Paul Rudd’s character has a sequence all alone where he is pretending to live in a home with a family. It’s saddening yet charming at the same exact time. Another wonderful part of the movie involved Joyce Payne who was an entirely real person-not an actress-that they filmed a scene with. It happened purely on accident on set that she was walking around looking at her actual house that was burnt down (the movie was filmed after the Bastrop County Complex fire in Texas which happened in 2011), the entire thing was essentially a real thing. Wasn’t scripted. It just happened as she discusses what happened with Paul Rudd’s character. And it is easily one of the most wonderful scenes in the movie.
I can’t say that Prince Avalanche necessarily tackles new ground but sometimes that doesn’t matter. It’s about the way it was stated that makes it stick out. Pretty much the entirety of the ending left me in such a wonderful mood because it was so incredibly charming. And understated but totally gives you a great message despite it’s simplicity. Essentially, simplicity can really work and in the case of this film, it really works, I highly recommend this movie as it is one of my favorite movies of 2013.