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'Lucky' • Movie
Harry Dean Stanton
Gets the Goodbye He Deserves
By Peter Travers, rollingstone.com
September 28, 2017
Lucky is a bittersweet meditation on mortality, punctuating the
career of beloved character actor Harry Dean Stanton. -Rotton
The late, great character actor gets the perfect
send-off in this character study about an elderly man not going gently into the
Rolling Stone's film critic pays tribute to the "quintessential character
actor" – the sort of lean, mean presence that always made the movies
What can you say about
Harry Dean Stanton, who died at 91
on September 15th? That he was one of the best actors in the business? You've
seen Repo Man – that's a given. The good news for Stanton enthusiasts, and we
are legion, is that he's going out at the top of his game with a starring role
in this melancholy indie.
Carroll Lynch, a character actor (Fargo,
in the great Stanton tradition,
makes his directing debut with this character study and his affection for his
star fills every frame.
doesn't insult Stanton by coddling
him or selling him short with sentiment. Neither do screenwriters Drago Sumonja and longtime
Stanton friend Logan
Sparks. In his first leading role since
1984's indelible Paris,
Texas, the actor plays Lucky, an atheist loner and WWII vet who chain-smokes, watches game
shows when he's not practicing yoga and whose preferred manner of dress in his
desert town is underwear. He talks to people, of course.
Lynch (yup, the Twin
Peaks creator himself) as a guy who's lost his pet turtle, Yvonne Huff as a sassy waitress from his local
diner, Ron Livingston as an
insurance agent who pisses him off, Tom
Skerritt as an ex-marine and a knockout James Darren (Moondoggie from those ancient Gidget
movies) as a bar buddy. The film gives them all moments to shine.
gives the late, great character actor Harry Dean
Stanton the goodbye he deserves, says Peter
But this is Stanton's movie and his interactions with this
world in microcosm and its star-crossed inhabitants constitute a master class in
acting. No fuss, no showing off – just old Harry
Dean kicking his own mortality down the road like a tin can that
got in his way.
No one who cares about movies and
those rare actors who can elevate them into something unforgettable would dream
of missing this scrappy, loving tribute to a virtuoso. Lucky may not believe in
God. But what kind of fool doesn't believe in Harry Dean Stanton?
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