Mesmeric magical realism from indie icons

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Despite a hefty nod to Wings Of Desire, the latest from the Polish brothers (Twin Falls Idaho) succeeds in floating beautifully between fantasy and realism. Gently idiosyncratic, it’s a magical yet grounded fable played with deadpan excellence by a cool cast, especially James Woods (an exec-producer) and Nick Nolte.

In the mid-’50s, the small town of Northfork is to be flooded, to make way for “progress”. A team of trench-coated men led by Woods have to evacuate the last few inhabitants. Who are stoic. One’s even built an ark, and organised two wives. Others are less rational:in fact, they may not even exist. They’re a group of ancient roaming “angels”, and a sick young orphan, nursed by Nolte’s grizzled priest, who believes he’s one of them, with the feathery wings to prove it. The photography’s lovely, melancholy but uplifting, and in harmony with the out-there story, which skilfully avoids implosion. The Polishes pull off their unique vision of an enchanting end-of-the-world as you didn’t know it. Not far from heaven.


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