Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Hawke & Pascal shine in Strange Way of Life

Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal collaborate with Pedro Almodóvar, the most famous filmmaker to emerge from Spain, on the short film Strange Way of Life, produced by B Team Pictures.

The film introduces us to Silva (Pascal) as he rides a horse across the desert, separating him from Bitter Creek. He comes to visit Sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke). Twenty-five years earlier, the sheriff (Jason Fernández) and Silva (José Condessa), the rancher who rides out to meet him, worked together as hired gunmen.

Silva had cited the reason for wanting to catch up with an old friend from his younger years to pay him a visit. The two spent a delightful time reminiscing about their past. However, the following day, Sheriff Jake uncovered the true purpose behind Silva’s trip: revive their old friendship.

To my recollection, I have viewed solely a pair of cinematic productions from the prolific Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar – specifically, Parallel Mothers and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Renowned for their signature blend of melodrama, irreverent humor, vibrant color palettes, sumptuous set design, and allusions to popular culture, Almodóvar’s oeuvre is characterized by intricate and nuanced storytelling that often tackles complex themes such as desire, LGBT issues, family dynamics, passion, and identity.

One of the most notable aspects of Strange Way of Life is the sensitive and nuanced portrayal of same-sex relationships in a time and place where such relationships were not widely accepted. The film explores themes of love, identity, and repression, and it does so with exceptional depth and authenticity.

Hawke and Pascal deliver potent performances that showcase their characters’ inner struggles and emotional complexities. If this were a full-length narrative, Hawke, in particular, received widespread acclaim for portraying a restrained and emotionally guarded man who battles with his own desires and societal expectations.

The cinematography in “strange Way of Life” is breathtaking, capturing the vast landscapes of Wyoming and the rugged beauty of the mountain setting. The visuals serve as a backdrop for the intimate and forbidden relationship between our leads, emphasizing the isolation and secrecy that characterize their relationship.

The only compliment I have with the film is a scene involving wine (you’ll know when you see it), as it took me out of the moment. Nevertheless, this is a solid short film overall and will be a contender in the Awards season.

Final Grade: B

Strange Way of Life is in theaters today.

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Hawke & Pascal shine in Strange Way of Life