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Only days left until the
2019 Winter Film Festival

January 25, 26 and 27, 2019

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 4:00pm
Rainbow Theatre, Northumberland Mall, Cobourg

lucky1 350LUCKY follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment. Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch's directorial debut "Lucky", is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on morality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection.

Director: John Carroll Lynch
Leads: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Skerritt, Beth Grant
Rating: NR   Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 86 minutes

Reviewed by Kimberley Jones

At 90, Lucky (Stanton) is still sharp, mentally and physically. Motoring around his home in his sagging boxer briefs, he starts every day with the same routine: brushing his teeth, slicking back his flyaway grays, and setting down his cigarette long enough to do a few minutes of calisthenics. Tracking Lucky's movements around a sparsely populated desert town, more routines are established: There's the diner where he does his crosswords and trades friendly insults with the owner, Joe (Henley), the bodega where he buys his smokes and gallon of milk, the strict timetable he keeps to so he can get home for his shows. A moment of faintness followed by a fall disrupts that routine. Even with the all-clear from his doctor, this fall, Lucky admits, "rung his bell." Nine decades on, Lucky is finally getting around to confronting his mortality.

lucky Built around vignettes, Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja's heavy-handed script walks Lucky through roughly three-fifths of the K├╝bler-Ross stages; he's more cranky than angry, and the only bargaining he attempts is to convince the proprietor of his favorite bar (Grant) to let him light up inside. The stagiest, least successful vignettes are the ones set inside that bar, peopled with gentle kooks (including David Lynch, Stanton's longtime friend and creative collaborator) who chew over their lives in long monologues that strain for profundity.

There's no strain when first-time director John Carroll Lynch - most famous in front of the camera for playing Norm Gunderson in the Coen brothers' Fargo - stays fixed on Stanton, in part, perhaps, because the film feels like such a gift from one character actor to another. In a six-decade-long career benchmarked with Paris, Texas, Cool Hand Luke, Alien, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, and The Straight Story, Stanton played many memorable supporting parts but only rarely got the lead. Here, in one of his final roles before his passing in September, Stanton's face fills near every frame - a face, famously hangdog even in the bloom of his youth, that is as epic and breathtaking as the desert mountains Lynch lenses at dusk. You feel Lucky's frustration and gloom, how they burden him, without Stanton opening his mouth. But thank goodness he does, otherwise we wouldn't get to hear him croon the lover's lament "Volver, Volver" with a backing mariachi band. The moment is sublime - gawdam, Harry could really sell a song - and piercingly poignant.