BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 24, 2012
Even if Michael Shannon is the only seasoned actor in Jeff Nichols’ “Shotgun Stories,” this subtle drama is stilled pulled off effectively, delivering the actual tone of smalltown, rural life. Based on a feud between two sets of sons fathered by the same alcoholic-turned-Christian man, the violence is made more realistic by its downplayed nature. If casually watching the film, the depth of the dialogue is lost. Produced by David Gordon Green and exhibiting the same slow-paced and real-life concoctions of Green, Nichols directs a commendable first feature film of his career.
Michael Shannon delivers a solid, tent-post performance, carrying enough star power to keep the unknown supporting cast from watering down the film. With several strong deliveries, precisely his words to his deadbeat mother, “You raised us to hate those boys, and we do. And now it’s come to this,” the film often carries more weight than you think it would. All the while, deep, latent humor exists, like when one brother buys a shotgun in the act of revenge but can’t assemble or load it without the help from one of their friends. Amassed with beautiful rural landscapes and almost nostalgic cinematography from Green’s cinematographer, Adam Stone, “Shotgun Stories” is a classic that exudes the touch and feel of a film 10 to 20 years older than it is.
March 26, 2008
Multicom Entertainment Group Inc.
(for violence, thematic elements and brief strong language)
David Gordon Green