Old Henry

Old Henry ★★★★

"It can be hard to tell who and what a man is, he’s got a mind to convince you otherwise."

What a brilliant, beautiful, and brutal story Potsy Ponciroli has crafted for us. This film is a real treat, a throwback piece of genre filmmaking in style but with a wonderfully conceived plot that is slowly unraveled as the emotional weight increases proportionally. Much like "Jockey" did for Clifton Collins Jr. this year, "Old Henry" showcases Tim Blake Nelson's immense talent. He plays the hardened seen-and-done-a-buncha-shit legendary cowboy type so well, but layers that gritty performance with a tender father figure who is now just an old farmer intent on protecting his son both from physical danger in the present and whatever painful history he keeps deeply hidden from the boy. And Stephen Dorff as a villainous antagonist is exceptional casting, as well. It's a taught dramatic thriller without a wasted moment, perfectly paced, and the one primary explosion of violence is visceral, well-staged, and supremely satisfying. The film is shot very well and is gorgeous to look at. I love the minimalistic feel of it taking place entirely in this one house and the surrounding fields and forest. This is really one of the gems of the year, in my opinion, and fans of traditional Westerns are going to enjoy this very much.

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