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Lucky

John Carroll Lynch

Given Harry Dean Stanton’s recent passing, Lucky will now enter the cinematic canon as a wonderful final tribute to an actor whose long career gave us some of the most memorable characters ever captured on celluloid. Quirky and playful, this indie film muses on the ordinary everyday reality of growing old, small town life and the American tradition to keep on trucking until it’s time to stop.

A remarkably spry 91 years old at the time of shooting, Stanton plays the titular Lucky, who lives on the edge of an unnamed small town in the middle of the desert in the American Southwest. He spends his days going to his favourite diner and local watering hole, sometimes striking up a conversation with those around him but mostly keeping to himself. When Lucky suffers a fainting spell, his doctor (Ed Begley Jr.) can’t find anything seriously wrong with him – even though he smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Fiercely independent, Lucky goes about his daily business, encountering a whole host of local characters along the way. There’s no great journey or lessons learned along the way, but little by little we get the sense that Lucky is slowly starting to come to terms with life in his later years.

Lucky is the directorial debut of actor John Carroll Lynch, who has drafted in some big names to flesh out his ensemble cast, from David Lynch to Tom Skerrit. No one feels out of place: this is a celebration of ordinary everyday oddness in all its glory. And at the heart of it all is Harry Dean Stanton, puffing on a cigarette, watching the world goby.