Astrology: Film: ‘Prince Avalanche’ (2013)

Magnolia Pictures

Magnolia Pictures

In Prince Avalanche, painting yellow lane-dividing lines on rural roads is serious Saturnine business. And the no-nonsense taskmaster who takes extraordinary pleasure in the work while reveling in the solitude this neck of the woods provides is Alvin (Paul Rudd), a man whose head space is way older than his years. Under his wing is a not-so-serious assistant, Lance (Emile Hirsch), the younger brother of Alvin’s off-camera girfriend, Madison.

The guys have a lot to teach each another and two key questions – will Alvin lighten up and will Lance embrace maturity – are at the heart of David Gordon Green’s movie, set in Texas, in 1987.

Alvin evinces all the signs of Saturn-ruled Capricorn – a huge sense of responsibility, a sterling work ethic, a profound desire for self-improvement, self-sufficiency and self-mastery – he prefers to listen to language-instruction tapes – and an insistence on Lance’s respect for the older guy’s comic books. Alvin simply basks in the glow of Saturnine routine, the boring nature of which drives most people up a wall. And he’s also big on the means-to-an-end strategizing – he only took this onerous job to try to build a better relationship with his girlfriend.

The movie’s optimistic note comes when Alvin – who’s on his own one day while Lance spends some time in town – has a touching conversation with an older woman who has all the hallmarks of being a ghost. She’s revisiting a demolished space that she once called home to search for a pilot’s license and log book, and wants to know how she’ll ever be able to prove she’s had those experiences. Alvin replies, “You never know when miracles happen.”

He’s ready.

Astrology Film Review: ♄ (Saturn)

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