Last year saw David Lowery give us one of my favourite films of 2017 in ‘A Ghost Story’ and now he returns with a very different kind of film but one that possesses that same soothing atmosphere he handles so well.
Serial bank robber Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) has broken out of countless prisons and can’t seem to stop himself from stealing cash yet in the most kindly way. As detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) and potential romantic interest for Tucker, Jewel (Sissy Spacek) enter his life, will he change his ways?
This is amazingly based on a true person and it’s an incredible watch just to see yourself rooting for this thief and witness the levels of crime he got away with. The film harbours a gentile air through the narrative and there’s a tranquil charm about it all. It’s a film almost like a caring grandparent; cosy and warming in its quaint storytelling of a man with an insatiable appetite to steal.
‘The Old Man and the Gun’ harks back to the late 70’s/early 80’s style of cinema with it’s flickering reel visual over the entire movie. The robberies themselves are never over egged or sensationalised which would have totally distanced you from the polite nature of Tucker but instead it gives you a calmness and gentle chuckles about what this 70 year old dapper man does. It could be argued that the film is sort of slow but that never overrides the movie.
It’s a mild-mannered film reflecting the lead character which keeps you perked up with traces of humour and in fact this entire feature shares the Robert Redford eye twinkle making it an enjoyable treat, a feeling that similar heist drama ‘King of Thieves’ should have also had but failed on. Redford’s performance is great, a charming and lovely role sold with suitable dazzle from the actor and his gentlemanly demeanour is sharp. If this is to be his final acting gig then what a wonderful way to exit stage left. Spacek is just as lovely in this, the bridge between us and the action as she gets involved in the life of Forrest. Also a red brake light flashes on her face at one point in what I’m taking as a reference to her prom days in ‘Carrie’.
There’s not much else to comment on apart from reiterating that this is simply put – a nice film with spades of charm and feels like one of those dreamy perfect Sunday afternoon watches.