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The Motel Life

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
The Motel Life
The Motel Life
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Two real-life brothers wrote and directed this warmly intimate US indie drama about sibling loyalty, which is shaped around topnotch performances from Emile Hirsch and a heartbreaking Stephen Dorff as outsiders scraping by. Their late mother made them promise to stay together, which has left taciturn Hirsch taking responsibility for Dorff, who hobbles around on a prosthetic leg after a childhood encounter with a moving train. Duty plays a part, but the bond they share is the most constant thing in both their lives, and about to be tested when Dorff is involved in a serious drunk driving incident sending both of them on the run from the law. While Hirsch's imaginative tall tales and his brother's adept drawn illustrations of them (rendered here in charming animated inserts) poignantly hint at broader horizons than their life, the duo's plight proves touching. This is a small-scale character piece which pleasingly recalls the hang-loose melancholy of American cinema's long-lost early 70s heyday. As indeed does a marvellous cameo from Kris Kristofferson as the world's kindest used-car salesman.

Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 4 April 2014
  • Duration:86 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Gabe Polsky, Alan Polsky
  • Cast:
    • Emile Hirsch
    • Stephen Dorff
    • Dakota Fanning
    • Kris Kristofferson
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