Dir. David Lowery (12A)
Robert Redford announced he’s retiring from acting during the summer, which means this festival favourite is his final performance. It’s fortunate, then that this film is perfect for his own brand of enigmatic charm. Presented in a retro style, evoking the stylish 70s dramas of Redford’s heyday, everything about it is cinematic bliss.
It tells the true story of Forrest Tucker, a 70-year-old habitual bank robber and prison escapee, who’s on one last run of jobs. A blossoming romance offers him a glimpse of a life away from crime, but a small town detective (Casey Affleck) is determined to catch him before he retires.
Writer/director David Lowery’s dialogue flows like an old novel, managing to explain why Forrest does what he does, without completely condoning it. The parallels between character and star are intentional, and as such this feels very much like a celebration of Redford.
It’s not all hero worship, however. This film does a fine job of allowing the viewer to peer inside the mind of a career criminal, not driven by hatred or violence, but simply the need ‘to live’. As we sit with Redford during the third act’s breath-taking chase, it’s a mentality that becomes easy to understand.
While it’s impossible to best his finest work, The Old Man and The Gun allows Redford to bow out a glorious high.