Through no fault of its own, Icelandic flick Either Way didn’t make much of an impression when it came out in 2011.
But it made enough of an impact on David Gordon Green for him to mount this US remake, set in rural Texas with American talent but otherwise retaining the quiet, unassuming reticence of Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s modest original.
That’s despite the casting of Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, both of whom are willing and able to go big and broad when the occasion demands. Here, though, they’re as muted as the mood of understated melancholy that hangs over this tale of two mismatched road workers charged with repainting lines and replacing reflectors along country thoroughfares in the aftermath of a devastating 1987 forest fire.
Green opts for a mournful yet humorous character study that plots as steady a course as the barely used highways upon which what passes for action takes place.