Will Oldham and Colm O'Leary (who also co-wrote the film with director Rick Alverson) work well together in this tale of a dedicated evangelical Christian who sets out to save the soul of a colleague who is still struggling to move on after years spent in military service.
Even though I like my films slow and uncomplicated, I don't think anything actually happens in #NewJerusalem. The characterisation of two middle-aged male mechanics, one with depression and the other a Christian, is not the most obvious for commercial success. However, it fitted with my interests and I enjoyed it.
I liked the pace and the consideration that the characterisation lent to the piece. I had plenty time to weigh up polarities. At first I thought that the positioning of Religion "v" reason a but too unsubtle but actually, that was the point both are trying to crack a walnut with sledgehammer. Understated throughout and never over anxious. My appetite is whetted for more.
After The Builder, more self-indulgent waltwhitmanesque ramblings from the depressed Irishman who stares blankly and goes around in circles. Rick Alverson's later films (The Comedy, Entertainment) are also variations of the lone-directionless-exhausted-man-going-around-in-circles trope, but more cinematic - read, less pretentiously "realistic" and more oneiric.