Directed by John Carroll Lynch
Follows the journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off-the-map desert town. He finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration.
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★★★½ review by Aaron Hendrix on Letterboxd
Watching this today with a post-screening discussion with John Carroll Lynch was a pretty special experience for obvious reasons. The recent passing of the great Harry Dean Stanton hung like a ghost over the showing and, in a film so preoccupied with death and the acceptance of our own mortality, the connections to his passing were inevitable. Lynch takes us, in many ways, on a tour of Stanton's most lauded roles, sprinkling in bits of his past characters over his last sixty some years of acting. But, none of his roles is more present than Travis Henderson. In one scene, Lynch (not that one - though he's present too in a wonderful role) frames Stanton in a shot that mirrors a scene late in Paris, Texas.
In Wenders' film as Stanton entered the strip club where Jane worked, he shot Stanton from the bottom of the steps. As Stanton climbed up the steps, he was bathed in red, the film's symbol for the love that bound Travis, Jane, and Hunter together. In Lynch's film, he shoots Stanton from the bottom of the staircase like Wenders, only now Stanton is walking down and his face is cast in red on one side and green on another. It seems a very conscious reference to one of the great shots in cinema, but more importantly it somewhat incidentally feels like one the great screen actors of all time is descending into his final rest after his final role. Sleep well Stanton. We all miss you.
★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
A wise and wistful love letter from one remarkable character actor to another, John Carroll Lynch’s “Lucky” returns 90-year-old Harry Dean Stanton to the dusty desert environs he shuffled through in 1984’s “Paris, Texas,” and offers the rawboned legend one of the best roles he’s had since. Beginning as a broad comedy before blossoming into a wry meditation on death and all the things we leave behind (a transition that kicks into gear when one of Stanton’s old friends shows up and steals the show), Lynch’s directorial debut is a wisp of a movie, blowing across the screen like a tumbleweed, but it’s also the rare portrait of mortality that’s both fun and full of life.
★★★★ review by Brian Tallerico on Letterboxd
A fantastic showcase for Harry Dean Stanton with echoes of Paterson. David Lynch tells multiple stories about his tortoise named President Roosevelt. Of course you want to see that.
★★★★ review by Brian Sweeney on Letterboxd
Seeing this in the wake of Harry Dean Stanton's passing feels a bit like listening to Bowie's Blackstar after he died. Like maybe they knew something was coming that we couldn't see, and they had to face it alone. Stanton's performance here is incredible, of course. He has a face that radiates warmth and weariness in equal degrees, and that quality is so crucial to his performance as Lucky. How lucky (ha) were we to get this and his fantastic work on Twin Peaks in his final year.
John Carroll Lynch, one of our greatest character actors and the director of this film, was at the screening I attended and did a Q&A after. When describing how the actors were on the set, he said "everyone was there for Harry Dean," as in they all showed up and were present because of him. Few people have that kind of magnetism, but he was certainly one of them.
★★★½ review by hermannij on Letterboxd
Harry Dean Stanton, 91 years old.
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