Kevin Costner and Diane Lane last appeared on-screen together as Ma and Pa Kent in the recent Superman film, "Man of Steel." They team up again in the tense drama "Let Him Go" as grieving grandparents whose only care in the world is their missing grandson, and each other.
This time, it's their turn to be super.
(Mild spoilers to follow).
As we peak inside the day-to-day life of The Blackledges, we see what could only be described as living the American Dream. George (Costner), a retired sheriff, and Margaret (Lane) his caring spouse, spend their days on their massive ranch in the open countryside, with their son (Ryan Bruce), his wife, Lorna, (Kayli Carter) and their only grandchild, Jimmy. In a freak and unthinkable accident, their son is thrown from a horse and killed.
Flash-forward a few years and Jimmy is now a toddler, and his mother, Lorna, is about to re-marry the hansome Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). Soon after their union, Margaret watches from afar as Donnie hits the small boy, and his new wife, in broad daylight on a city street. Before George and Margaret can intervene on behalf of their young grandchild, they find that Jimmy, Lorna and Donnie have all split town, taking all of their belongings with them. As they set out to locate their grandson, they discover something much worse: That this Weboy clan is not exactly the family that you want to go messing with.
Speaking of searching, you could spend days trying to find performances from both Costner and Lane that are less than fantastic. They both poor their hearts and souls into this loving elderly couple, and their chemistry is palpable. Both play their roles with more than a touch of sadness and loss...part of their motivation to protect young Jimmy must be connected to how they felt helpless in the demise of their own son.
Once they catch up to the Weboys, they encounter the family matriarch, Blanche (a scenery-chewing Leslie Manville) as well as Donnie's Uncle Bill Weboy (the always nefarious Jeffrey Donovan, channeling his Dodd Gerhardt character from TV's "Fargo"). From there, it's as if the phrase, "Well, that escalated quickly" was turned into a film.
But for much of the story, it's quiet and simple. Costner has perfected the art of acting at this point in his career, in that he's able to do and say more with his character when he's NOT talking. Lane has a bit of a louder role, but is pitch-perfect as a somewhat over-bearing yet loving woman who is looking for much more than just her grandson.
"Let Him Go" is a slow-burn, but before you know it you'll be engulfed in an inferno of action and emotion. It might cover some familiar ground, but the journey is worth it due to these two heart-felt performances that will grab you, and won't let you go.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
Run Time: 1 hour 54 minutes.
Based on the novel by Larry Watson
Starring: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Lesley Manville, Jeffrey Donavan, Kayli Carter, Ryan Bruce, Will Brittain..
Written and Directed by Thomas Bezucha ("Monte Carlo," "The Family Stone," "Big Eden").
"Let Him Go" opens theatrically on Friday, November 6th, 2020.
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