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‘ Let Him Go’ (review)

Produced by Mitchell Kaplan,
Paula Mazur, Thomas Bezucha

Based on Let Him Go by Larry Watson
Written and Directed by Thomas Bezucha
Starring Diane Lane, Kevin Costner,
Lesley Manville, Will Brittain, Kayli Carter,
Jeffrey Donovan,  Booboo Stewart

 

At the beginning of Let Him Go, retired Sheriff George Blackledge (Costner) and his wife Margaret (Lane) suffer a tremendous loss when their son, James, dies after unexpectedly falling from a horse on the family ranch, leaving behind his wife Lorna (Carter) and infant son, Jimmy.

Set in the early 1960’s, the film picks up a few years later.  Lorna has remarried to Donnie Weboy (Brittain), in a marriage of convenience and ultimately, abuse.  A witness to a public display of Lorna being slapped by Donnie, Margaret fears for the safety of young Jimmy.

When the Blackledge’s discover that Donnie has moved Lorna and Jimmy to his family the Dakotas, George and Margaret set forth to bring Jimmy home.

Few modern actors are truly believable in the Western genre as Costner, and his performance in Let Him Go is one of his best in recent memory.  Reteaming with his Man of Steel co-star Diane Lane, the two share a very believable relationship of a couple who have shared a life full of joy and tragedy together.  Lane’s performance is also among her best and she anchors the film with her internal heartbreak and strength.

On the other hand, when we meet the Weboy family, there’s little to like.  Living off the grid, this family led by notorious matriarch Blanche (Manville) who has no intention to give up her grandson without a fight.  Along with her sons, led by eldest Bill (Donovan), Blanche is loud, sadistic, and cruel.

And prepared for a fight.

Let Him Go is a film about a lot of things.  What starts with a tragedy becomes a revenge thriller.  As the film unfolds, it truly reveals itself to be a superior genre piece full of tension and vengeance.  And most importantly, it’s about the hope that one hold’s dear.

 

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