In late August, at the world premiere of the movie The Old Man & The Gun Robert Redford told the crowd, “The truth is that I really do feel that it’s time for me to move into retirement. I’ve been doing this since I was 21. I’ve put my soul and heart into it over the years. I thought, ‘That’s enough. Why don’t you quit while you’re a little bit ahead? Don’t wait for the bell to toll. Just get out.’ So I felt my time had come and I couldn’t think of a better project to go out on than this film.”
Since then Robert has come out and said that this might not be the last film, but if it was, and the now 82 year old filmmaking legend takes a step away from being in front of the camera. Is The Old Man & The Gun a fitting swansong for one of the big screens biggest names. From starring in a whole host of classics such as Brubaker, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Sting, Jeremiah Johnson,Sneakers, Indecent Proposal and a whole host of other films, and those are just his acting roles. Robert Redford has produced and directed many projects over the years and the film world is far better for them. Which brings me to The Old Man & The Gun, written and directed by David Lowery ( Aint Them Bodies Saints, Petes Dragon) and starring not just Redford, but also Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Tom Waits in this tale of an ageing group of bank robbers who took down several banks and eluded capture from the law.
Starting off in the summer of 1981, Texas. Robert Redford once again shows why he is one of the best onscreen performers of all time, sublte, genuine, and of course charismatic in his performance, Forrest Tucker (played by Redford) might well be a man with a gun and using that gun to deprive banks of their money, but we cant help loving the man He instantly likable even though we know hes a ‘bad guy’ Whilst the story of The Old Man & The Gun is captivating, the highlights for me were the performances, and im not just talking about Redford, every member of the cast is at the top of their game,
Everything about this film has classic cinema about it. The film might have been filmed in 2017/2018 but the film feels and sounds like a big budget film that was shot in the early 80s. The look, the feel, the style, the performances are all why I loved cinema growing up as a child in the 70s and 80s, and director David Lowery has captured that feeling.
There are some sad moments to the film though, and those that spring to mind are that if this is the final acting performance of Robert Redford, then the reminder that we will get no more new roles from RR, well thats a very sad thing indeed, but my god has he earned a rest in his life. The other thing is that this film was brought to us by Fox Searchlight, a company that over the years has brought us fantastic independent films however will that be the case now that Disney have taken over ownership of the Fox brand. Only time will tell. There are several layers of grief in this film. which all adds to the emotion when watching the 90 minute feature.
As I sit and right this review. Its Monday, its early afternoon and I have another six days of this week left. But already, I genuinely feel that I have found my Film Of The Week, and that is The Old Man & The Gun.