Director: David Lowery
Cast: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck
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After the transcendent beauty of A Ghost Story, David Lowery slows down for this slight but splendid caper. The old man in question is Forrest Tucker, a bank robber who has lost none of his charm, cockiness or criminal drive, even in his later years. Robert Redford is perfectly cast as the suave thief, strolling into banks with a seasoned twinkle, old-school manners and a grandad-like smile – before whipping out a pistol and asking them (politely) to give him all their cash. He doesn’t fire the thing; after all, who would say no to Robert Redford?
His three-man crew earns the nickname The Over-the-Hill Gang and he embraces the chance to get one last stab at notoriety, one more cat-and-mouse chase. The gang in question are Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits), who are clearly having a ball as the laid-back burglars, chatting with the kind of convincing familiarity that only comes with years of friendship. They’re nicely offset by the more serious presence of Casey Affleck as detective John Hunt, who is determined to track down Forrest.
But the real fun comes when Redford shares the screen with Sissy Spacek as Jewel, a horse-riding widow who clicks with the similarly lonely old-timer. Lowery shoots their romance – and the heists (and amusing prison breaks) that punctuate it – on a lovingly fuzzy 16mm. It’s a gently precise piece of production design that wraps this low-key thriller nostalgia to match its leads’ golden Hollywood charisma. For all involved, it feels like an easy ride down a road well travelled; hop in, let the top down and enjoy the breeze gently float by.