Harry Dean Stanton’s last film a decent send-off

“Lucky” is a good send-off to its lead actor, Harry Dean Stanton, who passed away last month and is the best part of this movie. It’s moving to see a 91-year-old actor in a movie so reflective of mortality.

“Lucky” is a movie about Lucky, an old man who lives somewhere quiet and South. Everyday, it seems, he wakes up, does some yoga exercises, has a glass of milk and goes to a local diner where he solves crossword puzzles until it’s time to go to the bar. He collapses randomly one day and sees his doctor, who assures him that there is nothing wrong with his health, but reminds him that he is getting older. Lucky, who doesn’t believe in a soul, enters a ‘mood’.

The movie, unlike a lot of other reflective movies or television I’ve seen, is actually very good natured. The characters are not driven by vices as dramas would often have you believe. Lucky isn’t an old cynic but is instead happy to have company. Characters often say what they mean, and look out for one another. It’s a breath of fresh air when it seems like misanthropy has become the go-to for many directors.

“Lucky” doesn’t totally benefit from its niceness, however. There are some corny moments throughout that drag down the movie. A little more absurdity would have done a great deal. For example, a frequent of the bar, played by David Lynch, is torn up by the escape of his pet tortoise. Frustrated by everyone’s reactions, he eventually blows up. “There are some things bigger than people, and a tortoise is one of them.” Lynch manages to make this funny, despite everything.

A little more than half of the characters’ writing works in this movie. Lynch, Stanton, Ron Livingston and James Darren all play people who seem real in their own unique way. Most of the rest, however, feel like they may be part of the scenery. “Lucky” is better than alright, right up to the penultimate scene. Its reflections on mortality and life benefited greatly from the fact that no ‘right answer’ was posed by any of the characters, who merely nodded in awe and contemplation. Two scenes away from the finish line, however, the movie’s cast very clearly discusses what they can do in the face of nonexistence. Their answer may be beautiful in its simplicity, but it’s nothing too original. Too many characters seem to wipe their brow and breathe a sigh of relief at these ‘wise words.’ The final scene says much of the same, but with much more craft.

Though the end’s a little disappointing, you may still enjoy the film. Its good nature and slow pace made for an all around interesting watch, and may get you to watch a Stanton movie that isn’t Alien. The movie’s showing this week at Circle Cinema, which happens to sell $2 tickets to TU students every Tuesday.

Post Author: Nathan Gibbons