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Mainstream Chick with Greta Gerwig @Middleburg

Review: Lucky

Indie flick alert! Don’t go to see Lucky expecting a real story. Not much happens in it. Go expecting a series of scenes with quirky characters saying meaningful things. And mostly go to see Harry Dean Stanton’s wonderful final performance as an oddball loner looking mortality and life in the face and soldiering on.

Lucky is a 90-year-old man who lives alone out in a desert town somewhere in the Southwest. He has a pretty routine and fairly uneventful life. He gets up, has some coffee, does a bit of exercise, then walks into town to have some more coffee while he does the crossword, and then he goes to the bodega to buy some milk and cigarettes. Later, he sees a few friends at a bar. And then he repeats it all the next day. But a health scare causes him to question his long-held philosophy of life and death, and so he spends the rest of the movie discussing it with friends and stepping a bit out of his usual routine to be more connected with the motley group of townsfolk who care about him.

Lucky is peopled by a handful of well-known actors including Ed Begley Jr., David Lynch, Tom Skerritt, and even James Darren of Gidget fame. And it is a very heartwarming, character driven story. The Lucky role is really the perfect send-off for Stanton who died in September this year. And that’s really the reason to see it. It was apparently written with him in mind and so it fits him to a tee. I’d recommend it mostly to indie film lovers. It’s slow and philosophical and hasn’t a special effect in sight.

[Mainstream Chick’s take: I totally agree with Arty. It is slow and philosophical and geared toward indie film lovers. I was rather bored, but I could still appreciate the film as a perfect swan song for Stanton. I also agree it was fun to see the likes of James Darren, who I remember fondly from his days on ‘TJ Hooker’. Plus, the film marks an impressive directorial debut by character actor John Caroll Lynch. You’d recognize his face if not his name. – hb]

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