I was a big… well, decent-sized fan of Michael Shannon’s intense work in Bug (less so in World Trade Center), so I was already predisposed to think about casting an eye toward his next indie offering, Shotgun Stories, even before news that the revenge flick — a $68,000 festival darling which
centers around a feud that erupts between half-brothers following
the death of their father — scored writer-director Jeff Nichols CAA representation and a gig directing another movie, for Killer Films. Then came the effusive advance critical praise (above), from Variety and Roger Ebert, among others. So you can imagine my considerable surprise when I then saw that the film which has been dubbed “a point-blank buckshot blast of American rage” is actually rated PG-13. Is that possible? I mean, rage, real rage — and, even more specifically, American rage — connotes something harder, with edge. Not necessarily graphic, but prone to profane outburst and pot-boiled-over intemperance. Something rated R, not PG-13. Poor word choice, perhaps? Or does the movie skirt critical issues it purports to examine?