Lucky (2017) - 7/10
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
There’s two reasons to watch this, Harry Dean Stanton and David Lynch. Maybe a third, dust. Lots and lots of desert dust. The whole thing is sun-kissed. Lucky (Dean Stanton), is a fiercely independent 90 year old living on his own in a small arse-end-of-nowhere US desert town. He smokes, drinks coffee and does puzzles in a local diner. He’s a nice guy going about his life nice and sloooow. Lots of sunshine and aimless time, soundtracked by a lazy harmonica. So slow in fact that Howard (Lynch) loses his pet tortoise ‘President Roosevelt’. The routine is interrupted when Lucky takes a fall and is forced to face the fact he’s getting old. It’s a really touching portrayal of the indignity and inevitability of getting old. Reflecting, excepting... waiting. Stanton is magnificent. A patient anchor at the centre of an oddly entertaining cast of local interest types. It’s funny too, the sort of dark wry humour that sits perfectly with both Stanton and Lynch. When they speak, you listen and the supporting cast seem to feel the same. Everyone accepting that they’re mere bit parts in Lucky’s life. Lynch doesn’t feature too much honestly, but that’s okay, Stanton can carry anything, often without needing to utter a word. There’s no big central scene, no car chases, no twists or whirlwind romances. It’s simply 90 minutes of getting to know Lucky and witnessing his understanding of what the days have in store. It’s a warm existential hug. Stanton’s final film, he passed before its release. It’s impossible not to see it as a tribute to the man, with several elements of his own life woven into the story. A wonderful actor with an exceptional career. Be sure to stick around for the song playing over the end credits.