Since their mother succumbed to cancer at an early age, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, two brothers, have always been alone aside from their companionship. Working odd jobs, the two brothers drift across the country, motel to motel. Life is hard, but the two brothers find solace in Frank's fantastical stories which often take them away from their troubles. When Jerry Lee is involved in a hit-and-run accident, the brothers are forced to flee across the state, setting off a chain of events that will change their lives forever. Alan & Gabe Polsky's The Motel Life is a quiet, reserved portrait of brotherhood set against a vagabond lifestyle. The relationship between the two brothers is very well done, with Jerry Lee being the brother whose already gone too far down this road self destruction, and Frank, the younger brother, who still has a chance to make something of his life. Their relationship and personalities are well designed and thought-out in The Motel Life, with Stephen Dorff giving a very notable performance as Jerry Lee. Hirsch is no slouch either, capturing a man whose begun to believe he is truly worthless and unwanted. From their constant battle with alcoholism to their self-defeatist mentality, The Motel Life subtlety captures this lifestyle in a honest and harrowing portrait. The film doesn't look for sympathy or compassion from the audience, instead simply presenting these characters in a neutral light, showing their strengths and weaknesses as men. Alan & Gabe Polsky's The Motel Life is a promising first feature which manages to make an intimate and sincere portrait of two brothers who've never had an easy life. 7.75/10
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