Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Old Man & the Gun

One of my more enjoyable cinema experiences in 2018 was watching this old-fashioned laid-back film, based on a true story, about a 70-year-old bank robber/prison escape artist named Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) who falls in love with Jewel (Sissy Spacek) while carrying out his most audacious robberies yet and avoiding the pursuit of a smart rookie detective named John Hunt (Casey Affleck). 

The actors above were all terrific, as are the characters they play. Throw in a great scene by Tom Waits and you have a very special and delightful film. It’s not surprising that it was written and directed by David Lowery, whose last two films (Pete’s Dragon and A Ghost Story) are among my favourites. The Old Man & the Gun also has a great period feel (it is set in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s and the film has a grainy style that make it look like it was made back then). 

The Old Man & the Gun could have made four stars and a place among my top films of the year if I hadn’t been so bothered by two things: 1) the complete absence of any true-to-life sense of the horrors (in many ways) of armed robbery, and 2) the lack of credibility in terms of how Tucker survived his chosen profession (since it’s a true story, there must be a way to make it credible).

Nevertheless, The Old Man & the Gun gets a solid ***+. My mug is up. Highly recommended for those who appreciate quiet laid-back films.

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