The beautiful, sweet “Prince Avalanche”

27 Aug


I was destined to love Prince Avalanche. It’s true. It was in my blood to love this film, because Paul Rudd’s character, Alvin, is, in so many ways, my dad*. Honestly, if they’d just switched his name with Emile Hirsch’s Lance, he’d basically be my dad. It’s 1988, there’s been a huge fire in central Texas, and Alvin took an isolated job out in nature, painting stripes on the road, fishing, camping and doing funny dances by his lonesome. The biggest difference is that my dad is actually quite skilled at social interaction, but there were still so many parallels that it was almost like I got to peek through some kind of time traveling device to see how my dad was** the year I was born.

*His strong character and kind heart definitely reminded me of Lance, but Caitlin’s father is far more of a talker than Alvin.

**I’ve only seen home movies, but Caitlin’s dad had an equally awesome mustache in the late 80s and was even more stylish than Rudd’s Alvin.

Moving away from the patriarchal similarities of this film for me, the film on its own is simply gorgeous. There are beautiful still shots of Bastrop post-fire, and it’s very strange to think I made a trek out to Bastrop mere months before that fire. And yet, there is still beauty there. As a Texan, it’s hard to look at homes reduced to rubble and ash, because those are my neighbors. But David Gordon Green* treats the scenes so delicately that it makes it OK. Apparently this film is based on an Icelandic film, which I have not seen so I don’t know how much crossover there is. But it is a slow-burning character profile that doesn’t spell anything out, but instead is just a peek inside these two people’s lives**. In a world with endless rom-coms and action films done and redone, it just felt like a breath of fresh air. The soundtrack, which was by Texas’ own Explosions in the Sky, is at times overpowering, feeling like it’s going to crush you under its weight.

*Great turn from the director of “Pineapple Express” and “Eastbound and Down.” Love his range.

**I love Caitlin’s no-plot take to this write-up, but I do feel like we should give you something so you know what this film is about. Paul Rudd’s character is dating Emile Hirsch’s character’s sister and agrees to hire Emile for a job painting lines on a rural highway in Texas. Emile’s character just wants to party on the weekends and get with girls and Paul Rudd’s character wants to save money for his girlfriend and enjoy some solitude and peace and quiet. 


I don’t think I’d say this was my favorite film of the year*, and yet I also feel that I’d watch this again and again**, to immerse myself in its landscape. If you’re looking for something thoughtful, moving, and so lovingly created that it takes your breath away, Prince Avalanche will fill that part of you and put a smile on your face.

*I preferred Way Way Back, Frances Ha, and a few others, but I would definitely recommend this movie to most people. 

**You can actually rent it on Amazon already and watch it as many times as you can in 48 hours. 


One Response to “The beautiful, sweet “Prince Avalanche””

  1. jessthetics September 5, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    I’m loving the film reviews on your blog! This one looks beautiful, I’m such a sucker for a trailer with heartfelt music, and I can’t wait to watch it 🙂 xx

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