The Motel Life 1.0 stars

Motel Life movie poster

What color is your sad, bleak underbelly? How about modest and moody, with an alt-folk soundtrack? Stephen Dorff, looking like Ewan MacGregor after a three-week drug binge, and Emile Hirsch, looking like Jack Black on an all-bourbon diet, play a couple of hard-luck brothers and self-avowed fuckups dealing with their latest tragedy: Dorff ran down a kid on a bike in midwinter Reno. (In a nice touch, their break comes from betting on Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson - the longest of longshot bets on a guy who was absolutely supposed to lose.) Each man retreats from his cinderblock reality by escaping into art: Dorff sketches a redheaded bombshell who will love him despite his crippled body, and Hirsch tells (animated-for-our-enjoyment) stories of the pair, all of which involve boobies and blood-spatter. But reality eventually comes a-calling, full of choice and consequence and just maybe, some kind of way forward. Kris Kristofferson plays the wisest, most honest used-car salesman in cinematic history, and Dakota Fanning shows up as a hooker's daughter with a heart of gold. 2013.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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