Set in the Australian wheat-belt in 1968, SEPTEMBER is a character driven film about two 15 year old boys - one black, one white - whose friendship begins to fall apart under the stress of ... See full summary »
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 ...
An aging Tennessee farmer returns to his homestead and must confront a family betrayal, the reappearance of an old enemy, and the loss of his farm.
This is the perfect example of how to write an old bull can against the young bull one. Holebrook's character doesn't want trouble, just his pride and the right to go on living the way he once did. He doesn't have much left, but pride. The movie does a great job of making us care for Holebrook, something that was hard to pull off consistently. Hal Holebrook is magnificent, and Oscar worthy here in his portrayal of Abner Meecham. It was hard to pull off, but Holebrook manages to maintain likability along with his grouchy, potentially off-putting role. There's never a moment where we don't sympathize with him, even when he pushes the limits, we manage to emphasize with his actions. I've not seen Holebrook perform a better role than this one. Ray McKinnon is excellent as the hot-shot antagonist, wanting to take over the farm. You'll hate him, and possibly even understand his actions in some cases. Walter Goggins is very good as the ungrateful son of Holebrook's, he did well.
Bottom line. The Sundance Film Festival struck gold with this one, and you will too. A must see
9 ½ 10
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