Harry. Dean. Stanton. Even if you don’t know the name, you’re sure to recognise that face. Stanton’s craggy visage is probably best known for indie-flick extraordinaire Paris, Texas, but he’s appeared in everything from Alien to Pretty in Pink (yes, really),
In this delightfully understated film, Stanton plays Lucky, a seriously old hombre, living out what look to be his final days in his tiny hometown, locked in the desert.
Lucky’s days consist of early morning calisthenics, getting carefully dressed, then heading into town to his favourite bar. Process is everything. Ritual.
Lucky can be feisty, and quietly begrudges the technical and social changes shaping his America. The fine supporting cast includes kooky actor/director David Lynch. This is a delicate, touching observation of a singular life.
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly this is a film where you find yourself smiling throughout. There’s a level of peacefulness that permeates Lucky’s little world. The Tex-Mex / Americana-infused soundtrack meanders along, the ideal accompaniment to his daily escapades.
Directed by John Carroll Lynch, himself an actor of note (Fargo, Gran Torino, American Horror Story), Lucky serves as a star vehicle for Stanton, the script written with him in mind by two other lesser-known actors.
Each character has a moment to shine. Their interactions with Lucky allow for brief monologues as they share their days with him, a congregation of barflies hidden away from the glare of the hot desert sun.
Sadly, Stanton passed away just a few weeks ago, aged 91, making the film all the more poignant. Lucky is as fine an epitaph as you’d want.