Ben Oliver

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The Old Man & the Gun

Brother, I’m not talking about making a living. I’m just talking about… living.
30 January 2022

We follow the later years of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), an old bank robber who has repeatedly escaped from prison and recently committed a string of robberies. A cop (Casey Affleck) connects the dots between the crimes and tries to track Forrest down.

I came in expecting a crime caper when really this is a film about growing old and making serious choices about what to do with your life. What makes you feel good? What if it’s the last time you’ll ever do it? Sissy Spacek plays Robert Redford’s love interest, and together they are facing the final years of their lives—it’s easily the most accomplished and compelling element of the film.

All this is fuelled entirely by buckets charm from the two leads, and from bank robbing accomplices Tom Waits and Danny Glover. It’s warm, funny, well made and somehow manages to leave off well trodden cliches. The script sort of wanders between events with a charming ease, rather than building to any huge heist or bank job.

I can’t remember the last time I saw something so fun and warm that commits completely to its core themes rather than throwing a few scenes in just for laughs. A great last film for Robert Redford, not at all the wink-at-the-audience vanity project this could have been.

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