Get us in your inbox

That Evening Sun

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars
736.fi.x491.thatevening.jpg
Advertising

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Old Coot cinema seems the inescapable endgame for any venerable actor (see Peter O’Toole in Venus and Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, for two recent examples), so watching Hal Holbrook play the steely geezer du jour feels more inevitable than surprising. It’s a calculatedly unflattering stock role: a forlorn yet feisty man at the end of his years, who first resists and then comes to terms with a checkered life. He’s the kind of grandfatherly presence who connects with the younger generation (often  represented by a girl emerging from her shy teen years) by giving them the courage to face their own demons; redeemed, he can then gird himself to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Adapting Southern author William Gay’s short story, writer-director Scott Teems suffuses That Evening Sun with a palpable regional languor that gives his fairly simple script more elegiac weight than it earns. Holbrook’s Abner Meecham squats on his former farm estate (now being sold to a man he considers white trash) and has little to do but squint and grunt at the indignity. The grizzled veteran actor, naturally, elevates the material like a pro, yet the entire exercise feels thin and reedy, trading in geriatric sentiment instead of hard-forged emotion.

Written by Stephen Garrett
Advertising
You may also like

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!