Regardless of how one may feel about Robert Redford’s political leanings, no one can argue his place among the greatest actors of our generation. Redford’s talent is on full display in David Lowrey’s “Old Man and the Gun” and will likely lead to serious consideration during awards season. The film itself is a fascinating look into what makes us happy. Most people Forrest Tucker’s (Redford) age would spend their time enjoying their late years, but the rush of robbing a bank is something which brings him so much joy. However, happiness has to take a back seat as father time is ticking away. His usual crew is starting to question why they still are knocking over these banks. Tucker himself doesn’t really begin to take stock in what matters until he comes across Jewel (Sissy Spacek). Could Tucker have finally met his match?
David Lowery craft a breezy narrative which seemingly doesn’t cut corners and allows the cast to breathe life into each player in this tale. Redford’s non-verbal cues and aw-shucks manner brought vibrancy to this tale. Spacek’s Jewel appears to be the one person who isn’t falling for his line of nonsense (but that doesn’t mean she isn’t semi-accepting of who he is). Of course in every good crime film, we need the law. Casey Affleck steps in the role of Detective John Hunt. He’s seemingly conflicted over his career choice. However, when he stumbles upon Tucker’s crime wave, it invigorates him. Happiness can manifest itself in many ways whether it’s walking out with a bag full cash (that’s not yours) or slapping the cuffs on a felon.
“Old Man and the Gun” certainly makes the argument for never slowing down. For Tucker living isn’t sitting in a rocking chair enjoying his golden years, just as Hunt has no desire to be a cop who works behind a desk. Jewel wants him to stop and take it all in but is Redford’s character even capable of that?
Overall, Joe Anderson’s cinematography is stellar as it both emphasizes the beauty of their surroundings while emphasizing the brazen nature of these crimes. Performance wise, Redford is scintillating in a performance which will be remembered as one of his best. Seek out the film and see why most critics are saying that his final performance might have been his best.