Tuesday, 10 May 2011

That Evening Sun

It’s time to turn to highlighting the films we will be screening at the Wild Goose Festival.

That Evening Sun, a 2009 indie film directed by Scott Teems (who will be joining us for the festival) stars 85-year-old Hal Holbrook as Abner Meecham, a man who has had enough of life in a nursing home and returns to his Tennessee farm. Unfortunately, that farm has been leased by his son to Lonzo Choat, a man Abner does not like. Both men stubbornly claim their right to the property (both Holbrook and Ray McKinnon as Lonzo deliver great understated performances) and Abner takes up residence in a sharecropper cabin from which he watches the farmhouse he thinks is his. Sparks soon fly. Lonzo’s teenage daughter, played wonderfully by Mia Wasikowska (there she is again), tries to befriend Abner, with mixed results. Abner’s other support comes from his old friend and neighbour, Thurl, another great performance in a supporting role, this one by Barry Corbin.

As we get to know Abner, we realize there is more there than we first imagined and that Lonzo is not the only flawed character on the farm. Things get quite intense as the two men dance around each other, but nothing happens as one might expect, which is a rare treat.

Featuring great cinematography and a good score, That Evening Sun is a wonderful humanizing film about people trying to deal with their past and move on. It gets a very solid ***+. My mug is up.

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