‘Lucky’ is a fitting swan song for Harry Dean Stanton

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Lucky (2017)

Directed by John Carroll Lynch

“Lucky” is, at its essence, a portrait of a man in the twilight of his life, portrayed by an actor in the twilight of his. As a story (written by two first-time screenwriters), there isn’t much to talk about. Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton) lives a quiet life alone in the desert of the picturesque American southwest. His routine involves going to his favorite café, the local supermarket, and a dive bar (which his best friend, played by David Lynch, also frequents), watching his daytime game shows, and staying in shape with beginner’s yoga stretches. Otherwise, a few comings and goings from supporting players in his life—his doctor, the supermarket clerk, a lawyer—are peppered into an otherwise slow, tedious story about a man coming to terms with the inevitabilities of old age.


As a swan song for the late Stanton, “Lucky” couldn’t have been better. Stanton plays a vulnerable character, one not afraid to be human. Lucky is a cynical man sometimes, but he faces life’s challenges with grace. In a small role, Tom Skerritt plays a character who banters with Lucky, and maybe even let him see things differently. Skerritt is masterful in the role. The two acting giants do things with a script that most actors wouldn’t have been able to do anything with. The humor is dry and mostly predictable, and the dialogue (with some exceptions) is mundane. But Stanton makes it worth your while. “Lucky” is a charming movie, once you get into it. It makes you miss Stanton, but it also makes you appreciative that he put out great work all the way up until the end.


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