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A Depression-era coming-of-age story that’s told with all the born-to-run romance of a Bruce Springsteen anthem, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s “Dreamland” is a film as mythic and familiar as the Dust Bowl itself. It’s an arresting fable fueled by the restlessness that American kids have always regarded as a birthright, and a penniless runaway of a movie that’s almost too beautiful to care that it’s racing towards a dead end. You’ve seen this story a thousand times before, but Joris-Peyrafitte’s expressive direction and Margot Robbie’s sheer force of will are enough to endow the movie’s best moments with the same hope-and-a-prayer immediacy that its heroes take with them as they speed towards the southern border.
Beginning with fatalistic narration (from an unseen Lola Kirke) that immediately locates the film in a long tradition of neo-Western legends, “Dreamland” channels everything from “Days of Heaven” to “Slow West” as it lays the groundwork for a half-remembered folktale about a teenage boy and the outlaw who changed his life. Eugene Evans (“Peaky Blinders” star Finn Cole) is no longer around to tell this story for himself, but wherever that strapping teenager got off to — dead or alive — it’s safe to say that he’s in a better place. His arid Texas hometown is a hostile stretch of blue sky and brown dirt where even the days without apocalyptic sandstorms feel like a kind of death rattle. It’s no wonder that Eugene’s father left for Mexico a while back, and that everyone who stuck around seems to resent the land itself.
Eugene - Things - Books - Store - Head
Eugene doesn’t know much, but he knows that it gets better than this. Maybe it would be easier if things were worse; if the comic books he steals from the local store didn’t fill his head with ideas, or if the “A Girl Walks Home Alone...
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