Rival grandmothers battle for custody of their grandchildren in a slow-burning neo-western thriller. let him go builds up smoldering tension up to an explosion of graphic violence. The film takes the time to establish serious character depth before throwing its leads from the deep end. The pace gets a bit slow, but for the brutal climax. The desolate landscapes of the epoch contribute to the foreboding narrative.
let him go Opened on a Montana ranch in the early 1960s. George Blackledge (Kevin Costner), a retired sheriff, and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) watch their son (Ryan Bruce) ride a new horse on a local trail. The horse returns, but it doesn’t. George and Margaret take care of his widow Lorna (Kayli Carter) and her grandson.
Three years later, Lorna married the arrogant and disrespectful Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). Margaret doesn’t particularly like him, but the reluctant George wants to give him a chance. Margaret witnesses Donnie’s despicable behavior on the street. She visits her apartment to speak to Lorna, but they left hastily.
Margaret decides to find her and take her grandson back. George is reluctant, but always supports his wife. Her investigation into Donnie’s whereabouts reveals astonishing information. His family, the Weboys, have a notorious reputation. You will be escorted to the family home in North Dakota but warned to be careful. Weboy matriarch Blanche (Lesley Manville) also protects her family fiercely.
let him go is adapted from the novel by Larry Watson. Author / Director Thomas Bezucha (Big Eden, The family stone) preserves the strong conflict between two very different families. George and Margaret are staggered after their first meeting with Blanche. You finally understand the source of Donnie’s horrific behavior. Conversely, Blanche is equally offended by Blackedge’s nerve. How dare they come into their home and make demands for a child they consider family? The battle between the clans rages against the vast landscape. The long streets and rolling hills have haunted poetry. Bezucha creates a good atmosphere with its characters and places.
Diane Lane and Lesley Manville are fantastic opponents. Both are headstrong and resilient, but Manville is terrifying. She chews through her scenes like a tiger at a steak buffet. The female characters dominate this film. Kevin Costner says little across the board. Its impressive screen presence adds weight without unnecessary dialogue. He represents the classic calm but deadly stoic hero of the western genre. Costner’s play as George Blackledge is fundamentally different from his role in the hit cable series. Yellowstone.
let him goThe final act will have critics. A methodical approach to Thomas Bezucha’s plot blends sharply with blood and bullets. I appreciated the incisive determination. A good western has to have a shootout. The film has its dramatic fullness and provides the necessary action. The ending has some surprises. let him go is a production of the Mazur / Kaplan Company. It will be released in theaters on November 6th by Focus Features.
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