I know what I’ve lost!
Since its inception, the western film genre has been a fan favorite among many. During Hollywood’s golden age, when the studios were producing various productions for the big and small screens, this genre exploded, spawning many flavors of stories about the satirical backdrop of the “old west” complete with the new frontier 19th century, limousines, shootings, chases with stagecoaches and many other motifs and nuances that seem to recall the past days of the stories of this genre. In today’s film landscape, westerns have changed and adapted to modern times. become what is now called “neo-westerns”. In this particular category, films reflect the traditions of the western genre but play in the modern / contemporary setting. Movies like unforgiven, The three burials of the Melquiads, No country for old men, Logan, and Hell or high watershows the main ideas of what neo-western films present to viewers, the ideas of westerns, but with new values in this modern age of film history; The saying “the old west is new again” includes. Now Focus Features and director Thomas Bezucha present the release of the latest film of the neo-western genre let him go. Will this film find its place among modern moviegoers and in its film genre, or is it a mild revenge story?
Retired Sheriff George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret Blackledge (Diane Lane) live in rural Montana in 1963 and live quietly on their ranch. They live with their son James (Ryan Bruce, his wife Lorna (Kayli Carter) and their grandson). Jimmy (Otto and Bram Hornung). Their domestic routine is disrupted when James has a fatal accident while riding. Lorna remarries shortly afterwards and is lured into marriage by Donnie Weboy (Will Brittan). Promise of a visit plan for Jimmy is eventually broken by Donnie, who builds an abandoned city and takes Lorna and Jimmy to his Weboy family farm in North Dakota to sever ties with Margaret and George. When Margaret witnesses Donnie’s abusive tendencies, she refuses to accept the situation and plans a road trip to state lines to bring Jimmy back and raise him. Reluctant to accompany their wife on this trip, the couple entered North Dakota and quickly learned the evil ways of the Weboy family with various members of Donnie’s family including Un Cle Bill (Jeffery Donovan) and Weboy matriarch Blanche (Lesley) Manville) and refuses to cooperate with visitors.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
I have to say that westerns are not one of my favorite genres. Or even better…. The western genre is not the genre of films that I’m most exposed to. Maybe because there aren’t many “classic” westerns in modern world cinema. Well, at least not in the simple / standard concept idea of what a western feature film was (i.e. the old west, saloons, shootouts, and the like). Of course there are films that have tried to capture this idea, like the one from 2016 The glory seven and 2013 The Lone Ranger, but these are more remakes of stories that were otherwise played. As I said earlier, the western film genre has gradually morphed into “modernized” stories that take on various ideas from the genre’s makeup but anchor the feature in a more contemporary setting. For one thing, I like this idea and it shows how the genre has evolved into a different age of cinema storytelling, especially since the avenues of “classic” westerns in Hollywood’s golden age have been played for some time. That’s how I like movies No country for old men, Hell or high water, Wind river, unforgiven, and The murder of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford are very good examples of neo-western films of the new era. As I said in my first paragraph…. The old west is new again!
This, of course, brings me back to talking about it let him go, a 2020 neo-western drama film that appears to continue the idealism of its particular major genre of filmmaking. To be honest, I haven’t heard much about this movie in a long time. Perhaps because of the COVID-19 pandemic and movie theaters closings for larger parts of 2020, I haven’t heard much about this particular neo-western drama. In fact, I really haven’t heard of it let him go until shortly after the release date (after November 6th)th, 2020). I think it was Thanksgiving when I first became aware of the film, which was widely acclaimed and reviewed by viewers. After a day off, I decided to venture into my nearby theater, which was still open and would be my first “trip to the cinema” since watching it principle Late August 2020. I decided not to watch the film’s trailer and went practically blind. I knew Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were the main characters and that it was some kind of neo-western movie with a revenge / suspense thriller angle. Furthermore…. I didn’t know anything about the plot of the film. After seeing the movie, I got busy with work (vacation season and everything) and kept pushing my review back let him go for some time. So far I finally have time to review the film. And what did I think of that? Well, I liked it very much. Despite a few minor nitpicks, let him go is a gripping and well-played neo-western endeavor that fascinates from start to finish. It’s a little slow at times, but the patience and payoff until the end of the movie is worth the wait.
Incidentally, the film is based on the novel of the same name by the author Larry Watson. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the Watson book. Therefore, my review will be based solely on the film itself, rather than what has changed, changed, and left out in translating Watson’s source material into a cinematic feature.
let him go The director is Thomas Bezucha, whose earlier directorial work includes such films as The family stone, Big Eden, and Monte Carlo. Interestingly, Bezucha hasn’t done much in the last couple of years other than a few projects here and there, with a notable script for the 2018 film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Of course it does let him go the director’s return to directing a feature film and making his fourth directorial film with that endeavor. I have to say that as I see guernsey and Family stoneI have to say that let him go is Bezucha’s best project so far. This is true! The way Bezucha holds everything on this film seems pretty intriguing and alluring. There’s still a feature to be presented that definitely works in the depths of the theater and gripping drama of grief and family custody, even if his previous projects may have been more lighthearted. As mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that Bezucha does let him go Stick to the neo-western genre of today’s cinematic landscape, but make film a slow endeavor. While some problems can easily be traced back to that particular mindset of controlling the movie like this, I can assure you that it is definitely worth watching the movie through to the end. Similar to his earlier work, Bezucha plays a double duty in the film, both in directing the feature and in the script of the feature. To adapt Watson’s novel in such a way that it addresses the genre of Westerns (aesthetics and everything), as well as making the film appear gripping in its more intense character moments of confrontations and revelations. Additionally, the context of the film themes and narrative commentary messages may be an in-depth investigation into viewing the film, with Bezucha making sure the film’s teeth sink into its ingrained mindset of power and control and grieving over loss and domestic family problems / abuse . Overall, Bezucha is characterized by an excellent shape let him go into a film that is a little slow at first, but turns into a fascinating viewing experience that benefits from its themes, the director of the film and the acting talent involved.
In its presentation, the film resembles a solid portrayal of a cinematic neo-western enterprise. Find let him go somewhat reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood-style project. Footage, cameras, and depictions of the landscape all seem to come from Eastwood’s approach to filmmaking, which makes the film feel plentiful in its surroundings. a gesture of the subversive into the old western-style films and the capture of the beautiful, almost pictorial appearance of the wide-open landscape of the North Midwest. These include the humble Blackledge farmhouse, a small / quaint town depicted in the 1960s, as well as the near-seedy family home of the Weboy clan. As such, I must pay tribute to the behind-the-scenes crew on the film, including Trevor Smith (production design), Cathy Cowan (art direction) and Amber Humphries (set design), for their commendable efforts let him go conveys a certain kind of “feeling” in the background layout of the function. In addition, the film music composed by Michael Giacchino provides an appropriate melodic composition that certainly fits the various scenes in the film. whether that is threatening and charged with tension in some of the more intense scenes of the film or just calm and thought-provoking in dialog-driven sequences.
Despite a gripping tale of vengeance and tension, let him go has a few minor criticisms that hold back the feature a bit in my opinion. As I mentioned above, Bezucha is creating the film in the manner of a classic “slow-burner” company. Slowly evolving events throughout the film as they occur. That being said, while the reward for having this feature unfolded helps develop the theatrical character of the film itself, it just gets a bit boring. This is perhaps the most common in the first act of the film, which (for lack of a better word) is rather slow and displays its scenes (i.e. story beats, characters, etc.) in a way that becomes annoying for little moments. Personally, I felt like the first act of the film went on and one because there wasn’t that much focus and excitement in that particular part. Perhaps when Bezucha (or his film editors) made a closer presentation of those special moments let him go The first act could have been noticed. However, they didn’t and make the first 30 minutes a bit boring despite creating the main narrative for the film. The same goes for the film’s artistic successes, which both Bezucha and cameraman Guy Godfree have. It’s awful, and some parts are effectively well done. However, these are a few moments, especially in the first act of the film, when the film delves more into the nuances of the indie art house that can be a bit disturbing. Elongated shots, quick edits, paused moments, and a few others can be seen in the film and become a bit distracting from time to time. These are also minor criticisms that I noticed while watching the film and that do not necessarily affect my enjoyment of watching this film.
The occupation let him go is also another great strength that the film has to offer: the talented collection of actors and actresses put together for the project makes the characters even better. Increase with some finely tuned and sharply played appearances within the main actors. This is perhaps the most notable of the film’s two main characters, George and Margaret Blackledge, played by veteran veteran actor Kevin Costner and actress Diane Lane. Costner, best known for his roles in The bodyguard, Yellowstone, and Dance with wolveshas always been a more physical character actor who let his features and / or facial expressions speak for him more than his moments as a dialogue character. Hence, it is not surprising that Costner would do the same in his portrayal of George Blackledge and handle it in spectacular and subtle ways. As would be expected, George’s character is more of a “down-elected” person compared to his wife (Margaret), with Costner being able to subtly capture the frustration and grieving sentimentality that both speak to his great work in the figure for the movie. In truth, Costner’s grizzled “Bravado” acts as a counterbalance to his female Led costar. In short, Costner’s George is great on the movie and definitely helps anchor the movie.
So is Lane, known for her roles in The outsider, Under the Tuscan sun, and officeis a seasoned / seasoned talent who is perfectly capable of keeping herself (and her characters respectful) in the spotlight. Like her co-star, Lane is great in this film; Shape Margaret Blackledge as the louder of the couple and present a person full of fear and determination; Never shrink from the opposition or take no for an answer. Together, both Costner and Lane are perfect as they play off each other and it’s great to see them work on the same movie together. As a side note, I just kept thinking about the 2013s man of Steel while seeing Costner and Lane on screen together, especially since they played husband and wife (Jonathan and Martha Kent) in that film.
Beyond Costner and Lane, actress Lesley Manville proves to be extremely effective in the role of Blanche Weboy, the chief matriarch of the Weboy family. Known for her roles in Phantom thread, Another year, and Upside downManville is a force of nature in the film; The chew threw her dialogue with ease and made her character really memorable. Manville as Blanche is terrifying in that her interaction with virtually every character / actor she works with on a scene is gripping, while it’s fascinating and haunting when she plays the role in a vicious way. Truly, Blanche may not have much else to offer than being a gritty and headstrong leader of the Weboy clan, but Manville is a talented actress and effortlessly plays the character of Blanche Weboy that it’s difficult to look away when she’s on the go Screen is …. even if it is something hostile or malicious. The same goes for Bill Weboy, Blanche’s firstborn son, played by actor Jeffery Donovan. Known for his roles in Burning notice, Changeling, and J. EdgarDonovan easily steps into the role of Bill, or rather “Uncle Bill” Weboy, and uses his acting talents to create a memorable character in the film that causes a lot of creepiness and restlessness to everyone on screen. That is good acting!
In the supporting character roles, the character of Lorna, the daughter-in-law of the Blackledges and now part of the Weboy, is a compelling character. Yes, there might not be much in her person beyond the initial setup, but what is presented is a profound measure, especially given the complexity context of her character position (i.e., torn between what is right and what fear of repercussions). Plus, actress Kayli Carter (Bad Education and Mrs. America) does a great job in the role and definitely brings the right amount of emotional struggle into Lorna. The only character that I found a bit overwhelming was the character of Peter Dragswolf, a young adult from the United States who befriends / supports Margaret and George Blackledge on their journey. Actor Booboo Stewart, of course (X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Twilight Saga Eclipse) does a good job in the role, so I don’t ask his acting talent, but how the character is written in the story. More or less the role of Peter in let him go is delegated on duty to narrate; A plot mechanic in the machine who drives the events forward and who seems to be just a minor underdevelopment in his character, despite having a small backstory.
The rest of the cast, including actor Will Brittain (Everyone wants something! and Clementine) as Donnie Weboy (the single member of the Weboy clan who married the widow to George and Margaret’s late son, actor Connor Mackay (The intruder and Dead of summer) as a member of the Weboy clan named Elton, actor Adam Stafford (The Lightning and The InBetween) as Marvin (another member of the Weboy clan) and actor Ryan Bruce (Black stone and Lucifer) as George and Margaret’s late son James Blackledge round off the small supporting actors of the film. Suffice it to say that these particular characters are rather limited (due to their small capacity in the narrative) so this is to be expected. Still, the works presented and the associated acting talents are solid. regardless of what influence they have compared to the more prominent roles in the film. As an aside, the young twins Otto and Bram Hornung play Jimmy Blackledge, the grandson of George and Margaret, superbly, as they handle the roles quite well.
In mourning the death of their son, a retired sheriff and his wife set out to find their only grandson, who was greeted with hostile resentment by those who hold him in the film let him go. Director Thomas Bezucha’s latest film explores the foray into the neo-western film genre by presenting a very human, character-based narrative of family, parental leadership, and thrilling revenge. While the film has some flaws in its enterprise (i.e., a slow burner pace and artistic flourishes), the film manages to be a gripping narrative of revenge and compelling drama, especially thanks to Bezucha’s direction, an engaging source material. and excellent acting quality in the cast of the feature film (most notably in Costner, Lane, and Manville). Personally, I really liked this movie. I didn’t expect much from it, but what I made of it was something that was profound and fascinating. a fine piece of cinematic work that the watch is worth. So my recommendation for this film is a “very good one” as it offers a lot of entertainment in a solid presentation of great, character-based acting. While the neo-western genre is neither quite as popular nor dominant as the film genres action, horror or comedy, let him go stands tall and proud as a beacon for its subgenre category, offering a talented and compelling story about family and how far one would go to protect those who love them most.
4.4 out of 5 (highly recommended)
Published on: November 6, 2020
Reviewed on: January 26, 2021
let him go is 113 minutes and is rated R for violence