Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Barry Shabaka Henley, Bertila Damas
The late, great Harry Dean Stanton gets a fitting send-off as the titular irrepressible small-town-dwelling old codger in this elegiac but whimsically amusing character study from actor-turned-director John Carroll Lynch. We first encounter the ninetysomething Lucky doing his early morning calisthenics before heading off on his regular morning rounds: breakfast at the local diner, a visit to the local store to stock up on supplies, TV game shows in the afternoon, and a visit to the local bar for the evening. There he meets his old friend and bar regular Howard (David Lynch), a local eccentric pining for Roosevelt - the turtle who has recently absconded from his homestead (this sounds unbearably twee until Lynch delivers a monologue about his character’s errant friend with affecting conviction). The script from first time writers Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja builds up the character incrementally through seemingly inconsequential scenes of quotidian life. We learn that Lucky is an atheist, an inexplicably healthy smoker, and in a rare moment of directness, he confides his feelings about his mortality to a local waitress. Stanton turns in a performance that is as rich and satisfying as it is understated, and while Lucky feels like a summation of his whole career, it never seems indulgent or self-congratulatory. The supporting cast are vividly realised, and a musical passage at the end is profoundly moving.