Review by James Lindorf
After the success of Mud and Midnight Special, actor Michael Shannon and director Jeff Nichols have teamed up again, this time for the 7-minute short Long Way Back Home. The film was inspired by the song of the same name by the Memphis based band, Lucero, which has been featured on the soundtrack for many of Nichols’ works. The film was shot in multiple locations in the south, and features an all-star cast, headlined by Michael Shannon who was joined by Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy), Scoot McNairy (Argo), and Paul Sparks (House of Cards).
Nichols has struggled to get his Alien Nation adaptation off the ground, and it has been a couple of years since he released Loving, so it’s nice to see him back behind the camera. His latest story revolves around Shannon searching for his two brothers, whether he is there for a reunion or to do them harm is at best murky; but ill-intentioned and intense are Michael Shannon’s bread and butter.
While it may be getting billed as a short film, I think it is more accurate to refer to this as a music video. The only music played during the film is the namesake song, but more importantly is that it relies on the lyrics of the song to share relevant information. The song gives the viewer a more accurate sense of who these characters are and how the wound up in this predicament.
Long Way Back Home is beautifully shot, well-acted and more than worth your 7 minutes, which include the credits. And the song is pretty good too.
Watch for yourself: