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The Motel Life review

Checking in with Hirsch and Dorff

If you didn't know an Americana songwriter – Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin – wrote the source novel for Alan and Gabe Polsky’s debut, you might guess.

Focused on two troubled but tight brothers (Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff) who flee a hit’n’run in Nevada, it unfolds like a minor-key folk ballad.

As our runaways drift, drink and ponder their life-bruised hopes, the Polskys’ mix of surreal fantasy and rugged US iconography (railroads, Kris Kristofferson) makes up in emotional pull what it lacks in propulsion.

Fans of indie cinema’s mood-movie fringes, check in.

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Available platformsMovie