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Lucky (2017) - Movie Review

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Lucky (2017) - Movie Review

5 stars

No one gets out of here alive.  Not even Harry Dean Stanton.

Lucky, with its fine textures and perfectly lived-in routine, is the flawless ode to the life and times of Harry Dean Stanton (Pretty in Pink, Twin Peaks, Paris, Texas).  Few actors get this chance to send themselves off into the wild blue yonder.  And even fewer deserve it.  Stanton, never a fan of small talk, is a marvelous character actor and absolutely nails his performance here as Lucky, a fragile man – often in underwear, a cowboy hat, and boots – is all about making connections as he encounters his final arc in his life.

You could say Lucky is wrapping up the loose ends in his life.  As if he believed in such things.  But time has a funny way of making believers out of us all now doesn’t it?  It doesn’t matter, though; we are immortal.  Lucky is a forever home for the spirituality of Harry Dean Stanton.  It is a movie that is absolutely, like Stanton’s own harmonica playing, unspoiled.        

The last film Stanton starred in before his death is also a damn fine film with plenty of great performances.  If the opening, which sets the stage for a well-drawn character portrait, and its morning exercise routine from the 91-year-old actor doesn’t have you both doubling over with laughter and absolutely touched with its beauty, then you’re doing this life thing wrong.

Lucky is about letting go and, guided by a crossword puzzle answer, it delivers one of the most philosophical messages to hit theaters this year.  Directed by John Carroll Lynch and written by Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, Lucky is an inspired meditation upon the ravages of time, delivered in a manner only Stanton could master.  It’s heartfelt and, with an almost syncopated rhythm descending from the air itself, manages to crush every moment with unmatched beauty.  If only all benedictions could be like this one right here.

And the drama begins with Lucky passing out after staring at the LED display on his coffeemaker.  His doctor (Ed Begley Jr), knowing he is near the end of his life, wants to set him up with assisted living.  He also wants him to quit his one-pack-a-day smoking habit.  Lucky is having none of it; the dude can barely manage to find the joy in the sucker the good doctor gives him to suck on. 

His best friend, Howard (David Lynch who turns in a damn solid performance here), has lost his turtle and Lucky, feeling every bit his age, starts kicking back at the contract he signed when he was originally born.  There comes an ending and he hates it.  It’s been a helluva a ride and, with fiestas to be had, game shows to watch, and alcohol to drink, Lucky is not sure he is ready to give it up.

But Lucky soldiers on.  He eats at his favorite diner.  He drinks at his favorite bar. And he thinks “Deal or No Deal” is a convoluted piece of shit.  And he’s drawn to red lights and EXIT signs.  It’s a damn beautiful sight to witness Stanton’s face bathed, on one side, in red and the other side in greenish colors. 

Co-starring a fine ensemble cast which includes Beth Grant, James Darren, Hugo Armstrong, Barry Shabaka Henley, Yvonne Huff, Bertila Damas, Ana Mercedes, Ron Livingston, and Tom Skerritt, Lucky is a movie that takes its time with its intoxicating rollout and, trust me, it’s damn worth it to see Stanton do his thing, listen to Johnny Cash sing, and hear Lynch deliver his passionate monologue about turtles. 

Lucky is one tough son of a bitch.  Thankfully, he’s not leaving this world without teaching us a lesson about life itself.  And it is so damn beautiful of a message that I can’t wait for you to hear it.

Harry Dean Stanton is Lucky and, as a result, so are we.

Lucky- poster

MPAA Rating: R.
88 mins
: John Carroll Lynch
Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja
Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston
: Drama
Memorable Movie Quote: "There's a difference between lonely and being alone."
Theatrical Distributor:
Magnolia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 29, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: The spiritual journey of a ninety-year-old atheist.

No details available.

Lucky- poster

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