An aging farmer fights to keep the home that is rightfully his after fleeing from a nursing home and discovering that his son has leased the family farm to his old nemesis. Placed in a nursing home by his son and promptly forgotten, Abner Meecham (Hal Holbrook) realized that waiting to die was no way to live. Determined to enjoy his last days, Abner packed his bags and set his sights on the family farm. At least there he could die on his own land, in familiar surroundings. But Abner is in for a rude awakening, because upon returning home he discovers that his son has leased the farm to Lonzo Choat. Abner never cared much for Lonzo, and when Lonzo refuses to leave, Abner takes up residence in an old tenant shack on the property. Before long, their dispute becomes volatile, each man believing himself to be in the right, and refusing to back down from his position. Betrayed by his son and haunted by dreams of his beloved deceased wife, Abner draws a line in the sand in an attempt to ...
In my opinion column, On San Diego, I offered a brief positive review of That Evening Sun after viewing it at the San Diego Film Festival. Those published comments are offered below.
"That Evening Sun," starring Hal Holbrook, shown on Sunday night to a packed house as the last film of the 2009 San Diego Film Festival. Now in his 80s, Holbrook gives a tremendous and subtle performance, as do all of the other actors in this Southern Gothic set in Tennessee: Walton Goggins, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston and Ray McKinnon. With a screenplay written by Scott Teems, like fine red wine, well made and maintained, every character of the movie is developed and complex -- even the barking dog!
The tension between characters, circumstances and passions makes this film a rarity, genuinely gripping from scene to scene and unpredictable to the end. The sound track is beautiful and delicately augments the emotional tension as the film wonderfully plays against the painterly rustic sharecropper house interior, forest, sunset sky and fantastically grizzled faces of authentically rendered people pursuing their respective deep, heartfelt aspirations. Like a Henry James novella, the film is underlain with ambiguity and uncertainty, empathy and shifting sympathies that will provoke conversation; one might pronounce it a good "date movie," with something for both men and women. A gem, this film is the kind one may only see at a film festival.
San Diegans were lucky to be among the first to see the final cut of this fine work. Fortunately, come Thanksgiving time, 2009, "That Evening Sun" will be seen in limited release in Los Angeles and New York theatres. Perchance it will also return to San Diego?
14 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this