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Lucky: A Journey of Self-Exploration

On Friday morning, The Musical Hall presented a heartbreaking exploration of our most intimate fears in the narrative film Lucky.

The film stars Harry Dean Stanton, in a terrific final performance that caps a six decade long career, as the titular Lucky, a man both at peace with, and almost disappointed in, his statistically improbable continued existence. At 90 years old, Lucky, a devout and stubborn atheist, remains in good health despite having spent a lifetime drinking and smoking. Everyday he wakes up, drinks a pre-poured glass of milk, refills the glass, and performs five yoga exercises before grabbing his smokes and walking into town to grab some coffee at the diner and work on the morning crossword.

Along the way, Lucky is accompanied by a soundtrack and camera that, like the character himself, are confident in the way they reflect and communicate honestly the qualities of his well-developed regime. As a result, the audience is treated to various run-ins Lucky has with the hilarious ensemble of stagnant souls that contently inhabit the dry purgatory the film is shot in all of whom benefit from the funny and irreverent writing of screenwriters Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja (which fittingly proves its merits in two oddly romantic siliques about a runaway tortoise).

But the true gift of the film is the virtuous manner in which Director John Carroll Lynch allows all of these charming qualities to act as a vessel that slowly strips away the illusion that a work of fiction can’t tell a story just as poignant and real as any of the documentaries that will be aired this weekend. Combine this with Stanton’s, at times terrifyingly earnest, performance and you have one of the best movies featured at this years festival.

By Tom Berry