Lucky

Lucky

Director: John Carroll Lynch
Running Time: 88 minutes


This film had its final screening at The Nightlight on November 2, 2017.

Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in Lucky, an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important.

Lucky is something a good deal more substantial than the cinematic equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. It’s also a stealthily affecting and unpretentiously thoughtful meditation on community and mortality, and existential dread and transcendence, in the form of a richly amusing shaggy-dog story that features Stanton’s finest performance since Paris, Texas.

By turns taciturn and loquacious, Lucky is an insistently self-sufficient loner who nonetheless seems to enjoy, or at least not resent, his interactions with other residents in an off-the-grid desert town. As he goes about his daily regimen both at home (yoga in the morning, TV game shows in the afternoon) and outside of it (breakfast at the local diner, evening drinks at his customary watering hole), his stride is brisk and purposeful in the manner of a man who believes unwavering adherence to routine is the secret to a long life.

The best way to appreciate Lucky is to take a deep breath, free your mind, and go with the unhurried flow for 88 minutes. Take time to savor all of its disparate elements — including, on the pitch-perfect soundtrack, a harmonica rendition of “Red River Valley” performed by Stanton — and ponder its teasing ambiguities. More important, relish every detail of Stanton’s matter-of-factly fearless portrayal of a man who ran out of damns to give a long time ago, but still wants to make a graceful exit. It is, quite simply, the performance of a lifetime.

~~ Joe Leydon, variety.com