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LaRoy Texas no place for old men

Setting out to break expectations, the dark comedy called LaRoy, Texas twists and turns in landscapes both bright and bleak. As writer and director, Shane Atkinson seeks humor in a No Country for Old Men setting, a world where stumbling in on a load of money leads to mixing with a ruthless killer rather than a better life. A taut and clever opening raises the bar before the story sets into its lead characters who show varying shades of obtuseness in their takes as losers. John Maguro, so good in Past Lives, plays Ray, blind to betrayals going on in his life. The ever-likeable Steve Zahn steps in as Skip, a wanna

-be private eye in over his head. The two bungle their way through escalating disasters, discovering as one of them says, that quote “people only get away with what we let them.” Smooth and comfortable on screen, the actors keep the tone lighter than events indicate, even with a less-than-happy ending. Their characters, along with places, benefit from confident camera choices made by director Atkinson, heading up his first feature film. Though bearing the name LaRoy, the title’s location suits other small towns—it kind of looks like Wells, Nevada but actually filmed around Albuquerque, New Mexico, an area whose cinematic track record includes the classic No Country for Old Men. No classic itself, LaRoy offers its own share of intrigue in no country for men—or for that matter, people in general--who want to move forward in life.

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