Stars: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana
From a television wrecked on the wall of the bar where Russell ( Christian Bale ) is draining the last beer while waiting in vain for his brother Rodney ( Casey Affleck ), a senator, any of the electors of the conference, invites us to believe in the economic recovery, invites to voteBarack Obama : the scenario is that the gloomy and depressed town America, somewhere in Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and the Appalachian Mountains, a province weakened as the whole country from the worst economic crisis of the postwar period, reeling as its inhabitants in an effort not to succumb to believe and to hope for a better future. Russell works as a laborer in the local factory that offers no prospects, care of the terminally ill father, pay the debts of the problematic brother, do not stop believing in the future and try to live a dignified life dreaming of one day a better life with his girlfriend Lena ( Zoe Saldana ). Rodney instead is one of many veterans of the war in Iraq, a symbol of a generation lost, desperate and animated by an intense irrational and self-destructive urges him to fight in illegal boxing matches organized by the sinister John Petty ( Willem Dafoe ).After a fatal accident where they are killed a woman and a child, Russell ends up in prison and his life falls apart. Despite this, again a free man, he tries to resume their stubborn way, even if Lena began a new life with the local sheriff Wesley Barnes ( Forest Whitaker ), but the death of his brother, finished in a very bad round of betting and drugs , at the hands of the brutal De Groat (Woody Harrelson ), will mark the path of his life irrevocably.
A film that is appreciated more for the atmosphere and the skill of the performers, and for the originality of the story and staging. In the first case the excellent photography leaden and lifeless wasteland of the American province, along with the nostalgia of the music that punctuate the story, give the film the tone of a ballad sorrowful and melancholy, dark and with a sense of tragedy imminent. For their part, the characters reflect the lack of hope for a country to its knees, despair, degradation, and the sadness of the various subjects are returned in an excellent manner by the entire cast: Christian Bale by both protagonists and Casey Affleck, martyr, the first complete and stubborn, restless and angry in his despair, the second, by the actors, all of yet another big test of an increasingly significant Woody Harrelson. A film so unoriginal, and where inevitably there is so much already seen and said, but ennobled by the interpreters and the suggestion of the atmosphere it creates, and that you do in fact prefer the first part of the province where the melancholy and despair of its inhabitants, tied to an inescapable and incontrovertible fate as losers of working class , fascinates and convincing. The strength of family ties and sentimental that legitimize the possibility of a decent life, is counterbalanced by the squalor of reality and the ugliness of the factory with his furnace whose smoke chokes dreams and hopes. When these crumble and disappear, when Rodney, reluctant to go to the mat even if the match is rigged, why not fight just for the money, but to vent pent-up anger (” I prefer to die rather than the factory, the factory fuck . What made this fucking country for me? “), even when Rodney gives up and goes down, the film misfires and the second part is much less convincing. In fact, the film turns into a real revenge movie, rather conventional and quite obvious, moreover, with a script a bit ‘shaky (see Curtis unobtainable and untouchable even by the SWAT team, which then comes out of the closet candidly was a phone call). Besides also in Crazy Heart , Scott Cooper , here at his second, had given the impression to be appreciated more as a director of actors (oscar to Jeff Bridges ) rather than as storyteller, and in fact the movie was not memorable impression and limit which is also found in this Out of the Furnace . The scene of deer hunting reminds us inevitably to the hunter of Michael Cimino , whose atmosphere the film can be drawn up: a generation and a country in crisis, the background where there was Vietnam, today there ‘s Iraq.