08th Jan2019

‘The Old Man & the Gun’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, Ari Elizabeth Johnson, Teagan Johnson, Gene Jones, John David Washington, Barlow Jacobs, Augustine Frizzell, Jennifer Joplin, Lisa DeRoberts | Written and Directed by David Lowery


Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession

David Lowery returns rather quickly to the realm of cinema after his stoically ambitious loved or loathed romantic drama A Ghost Story with 70’s inspired and produced drama The Old Man & The Gun. Once again collaborating with cinematic muse Casey Affleck and film icons such as Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Tom Waits.

However, the real distinctive and particular quality is what is reported to be film icon and lead actor Robert Redford’s last cinematic performance before his imminent retiring from the art form that he has blessed with his grace. It is a pleasure to report that not only is Lowery’s film an utter blast from start to finish in terms of terrific execution of both substance and style but sends off Redford in a perfect embodiment of his illustrious career.

Slick, stylish and deeply layered with a piercing emotionally charged prism of nostalgia. David Lowery’s film feels as if it was plucked out of any year in the ’70s and given a limited release. Shot on Super 16mm Film that visuals are stunning and deeply subversive with an aesthetic of a documentarian approach. A factor that reinforces the uniqueness of a project that on paper is a generic conventional biopic. Redford is terrific. The charm, screen presence and charisma just ooze from the screen.

The romanticised spirit of Redford is evoked in such a kindred spirit in the real-life subject and the resulting story of career criminal Forrest Tucker. Elegant and smooth are the basis for a fabulous finale with Redford. The shine and gleam are deeply radiant and ever soo effective to the character of Forrest Tucker’s life and decisions that dispel from a need to live and not stagnate in no authority aside from his own. A sentiment I’m sure Redford has lived by throughout his career. Poetically completing life’s full circle.

Redford’s partnership with Spacek, in particular, is a true delight to see displayed and develop. A warm and inviting arc that revels in a form of a classic underlying sexual atmosphere of two loving and uncomplicated personalities who find each other with little time left to enjoy. It is these moments of nonchalant embellishments that evoke a grand scale of underlining humanity, an endearing element that homages back to the golden age of Hollywood.


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