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Harry Dean Stanton has been a character actor in so many movies over a long career. In this film, he is the lead and plays Lucky, an old and worn guy who seems to have a diet of coffee and milk, smokes a ridiculous number of cigarettes, and is hooked on game shows. He has a routine that he follows every day, and the film follows him over several days and the people he interacts with every day. I really enjoyed this film. It is a character study – there is no plot, nor is there a lot of action. Rather, through the dialog, close-up shots of his worn, creased face, and his ambling through the tiny desert town in which he lives, we understand through him what it is like to grow very old, with no family, and to be scared about what is on the other side. Stanton is excellent – I am sure that all he had to do is just play himself. The acting by others is excellent, and I thought it was such a treat that David Lynch, for whom Stanton has served as a character actor, is an actor in a film in which Stanton is the lead. Big thumbs up for a film that is funny and poignant, honors Stanton’s career, and gives him a lead role in which he navigates, in his own unique style, the landscape of old age and impending death. If you are a fan of Stanton’s character work, you will want to see this film.

About Gary Burkholder

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