Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
Lucky is an old US Navy veteran of rigid habits and attitudes in a small town. When his routine is interrupted by a sudden collapse at home, Lucky finds himself realizing that his remarkably healthy old age is going to face an inevitable decline and he has to accept it. In that difficult reassessment, Lucky must face up to what he believes in and how much it compares to his neighbors' priorities. In doing so, Lucky finds that his life has its positive side as he searches for some meaning that he can accept. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Critics are raving about it, myself... not as much
"YOU'RE NOTHING!" That's Lucky's announcement each time he enters his local diner. It's his way of greeting everyone in the place and in a way it is also sums up this movie. It has some wonderful scenes and wonderful performances but really doesn't add up to very much.
Since legendary actor Harry Dean Stanton passed away I have had this movie's release date circled on my calendar. I would have anyway since I am a fan of his and it was only his second leading role in a 60+ year career. His other, "Paris, Texas" (1984), is one of my favorite movies of all time.
The movie turned out to be his Swan Song and, with so much of his real life experiences incorporated into his character makes it all the more poignant. When the film is over it's difficult to not think that Stanton wasn't saying goodbye to all of us.
That makes this movie worth seeing. He has some terrific scenes with a great cast including director and friend David Lynch, Ron Livingston, James Gavin, Tom Skerritt and Ed Begley Jr. There's a touching scene when Harry/Lucky admits he's concerned about life's end and another at a fiesta where he sings in Spanish (something he's always done beautifully throughout his life).
In spite of this I cannot say the movie as a whole really jelled. In between the banter with his co-stars there was too much... well, NOTHING. That may have been the point when you consider it was Harry Zen's real-life philosophy but I couldn't help but feel a bit empty by the entire viewing experience. There were certain behaviors he exhibited in the town he lived in that I hoped to see fleshed out and it never happened. Places in town he'd observe and are left to guess what he's seeing, never to find out. There were relationships he had with people where I thought some kind of arc would materialize but NOTHING happened. What can I say? I wanted more and got too much of NOTHING! Lol.
Aesthetically, I was bothered by the editing transitions of fading to black/fade in from black of which there are way too many. It became a distraction serving only to contemplate being in a theater with other patrons and taking me away from what was happening on screen.
"Lucky" is really not a bad film. At all. It is a nice cap to Stanton's career. His fans will appreciate his final role and I'm glad to have seen it. I only wish I could say it was a movie I would revisit repeatedly. For me it really isn't.
Rest In Peace Harry Dean. We'll always have Paris... Texas. 😊
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