About the film
Director: David Lowery
Actors: Elisabeth Moss, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Keith Carradine, Robert RedfordThe time is the early ’80s. The place is Texas. The tale is derived from a New Yorker article by David Grann, adapted by writer-director David Lowery (“A Ghost Story,” and “Pete’s Dragon”). The story “is mostly true.”
The Old Man and the Gun is the tale of a sixty something serial robber and jail-breaker, Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), who broke out of prison 18 times (including once from San Quentin in 1979 in a boat made in the prison workshop). Our man Forrest simply refused to stop “working” and together with his mini gang (dubbed “Over-the-Hill-Gang), which includes Teddy (Danny Glover - who is always a delight) and Waller ( the undeniable Tom Waits), launches a spree of robberies that gain some widespread notoriety and confound the authorities.Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who gets a little notoriety of his own as he gets lured by Forrest into a cat-and-mouse game of crime and punishment, and a cheerful widow named Jewel (Sissy Spacek), whom the charming Forrest meets and falls for as he’s fleeing the scene of one of his crimes.
While set in the 1980s, he shot the film on 16mm so that its images possess the grainy tactility quality of a 1970s; visually as well as narratively. Redford and Spacek’s chemistry is easy and lived-in and watching them together is easily one of the highlights of the film.
Now 82, it’s clear Redford still has the magic. He’s a Hollywood icon for a reason and Lowery’s film is an easy-breezy celebration of Redford’s charisma and a fitting swan song given that it might be his final on-camera role.
And if he wants to stick around, well be our guest, sir.