Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town.Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town.Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town.
LUCKY is a deceptively simple tale of a determinedly alone old naval officer, who has got to the stage in life where even his doctor (a fabulous cameo from Ed Begley Jr.) has nothing to tell him when he takes a dizzy tumble. This is an old man, going about things the only way he knows how. His days are a series of little routines sparingly conveyed through repetition and variation in the first half of the film. He knows he is going to die, he knows this scares him, but he also knows there is little else he can do other than persist, like the best of Samuel Beckett's characters.
There is something a little reminiscent of another Wenders' film in LUCKY, namely LIGHTNING OVER WATER. In that part-documentary, Wenders' sought to approach his own fear of death through the imminent mortality of veteran Hollywood filmmaker and close friend Nicholas Ray. Carroll Lynch is similarly engaging with the genuine fears of vulnerabilities of the ageing Stanton, as a means of tapping in to a wider understanding of what death is and what it means.
The film vacillates between profound human empathy and a less appealing, although far less prominent, sentimentality. It is often at its strongest in the barroom scenes in which Lucky goes through the motions of his compromised masculinity and desperately rails against and longs for the reckoning that remains a few miles further down the road. Carroll Lynch keeps the overall tone light and as sunny as the Californian landscape that his film cleaves to, which only makes moments like when Stanton lets rip with a Mariachi band all the more poignant, urgent and arresting. With some great supporting turns from the likes of David Lynch, Tom Skerritt and Ron Livingston, this perfectly formed, smallscale movie, has much bigger concerns at its heart.
- Sep 30, 2018