NOW Magazine - - ART & BOOKS -

SPEC D: Jacques Au­di­ard. US/France/ ñ

Ro­ma­nia/Spain. 120 min. Sep 8, 9:30 pm, Princess of Wales; Sep 9, 10 am, Win­ter Gar­den. Rat­ing: NNNN Based on the novel by Pa­trick deWitt, Au­di­ard’s English-lan­guage de­but is a Western in much the same way that A Prophet was a prison thriller and Dheepan was a refugee drama: it es­tab­lishes its cho­sen genre and then strikes out in its own di­rec­tion.

It’s 1851, and sib­ling assassins Char­lie and Eli Sis­ters (Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly) are track­ing their lat­est tar­get (Riz Ahmed) and his trav­el­ling com­pan­ion (Jake Gyl­len­haal) from Ore­gon to Cal­i­for­nia – a jour­ney that will bring all four men to­gether, and not in a way any of them ex­pects.

It’s a gorgeous, strange ride filled with gifted ac­tors in cu­ri­ous com­bi­na­tions: Phoenix and Reilly are a great match as brothers, with a rhythm that speaks to decades of mu­tual ir­ri­ta­tion, while Nightcrawler co-stars Gyl­len­haal and Ahmed get to ex­plore an en­tirely dif­fer­ent sort of dy­namic.

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