Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Lucky

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Reviews - Lucky


Reviewed By Chris Coombes

Last Sunday's film was one of those little gems that come along every so often, takes you by surprise and for a moment or two at least changes the way you look at things. Lucky was almost Harry Dean Stanton's last film (he died last year at the age of 91 and after 204 acting roles), and Director John Lynch's directorial debut.

As the film started I wasn't sure that I wanted to watch something as confronting as an aging actor playing the part of an aging man facing the future/death, essentially on his own. However, the sweetness and profundity of the film became clear very quickly and I settled in for a delightful and surprisingly positive experience. It's a small story that tackles some huge concepts about the meaning of life, loneliness as opposed to aloneness, how actions and intent can be misunderstood and how we all learn to live out our lives in spite of or because of the above. Lucky, played by Stanton, goes about his every-day routine in his small town environment accepting or rejecting the companionship offered to him by those around him according to how he’s feeling. After a fall he talks to his doctor who tells him that he is fortunate enough to be able to witness, acknowledge and understand his own old age.

This forces Lucky to ponder on the nature of what is around him and, it seems to appreciate more about what he sees and experiences. He takes some risks such as singing at a birthday party – an extraordinarily moving scene in the film. He allows himself to admit to one of his acquaintances that he is scared although he makes her promise to keep this a secret. The film is, I think, about the power of honesty. The script is economical in the extreme but we are left feeling that all that is said is the straight truth; there is no artifice – just common decency, humanity and understanding. The film is at times flawed – a bit confused, a bit repetitive – but maybe that is part of the point. I left the cinema feeling calm and content and as if I had watched something important.

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.

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