‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ drifts without impact

By Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle

The chief asset of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” is Rooney Mara, who gets more interesting with every movie. What’s emerging is that Mara is nothing like the way she looks, so that you get the low voice, dark attitude and hint of a turbulent inner life — combined with a girlish, lyrical appearance. It’s from such contrasts that movie stars are born, and it’s through such contrasts that a story such as “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” becomes possible and believable.

Very early in the movie, she and her outlaw husband (Casey Affleck), living in the middle of nowhere, are in a shootout with the police, and she wounds the town’s main cop. The husband takes the rap for her and goes to jail, and she gets off and gives birth to a daughter. No one knows her secret, and there is something about Mara that lets you know that secrets are safe with her.

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