Nobody knows if Robert Redford will finally retire or not from the cinema but, if so, the actor and the millions of moviegoers who have enjoyed his films can remain calm. The Old Man and the Gun would be the perfect goodbye for the performer, director, producer and founder of today's almighty Sundance Festival, a legend of classic cinema that has received an emotional gift from David Lowery with his latest film.
The actor and the filmmaker met during the filming of Peter And The Dragon, in which Redford had a brief supporting role. Soon after, the filmmaker began to develop a project inspired by an article by journalist David Grann that told the story of Forrest Tucker, a bank robber who spent most of his life in jail or trying to escape from it. The criminal, who never committed a blood crime, gave his last robbery at age 80, two years less than Redford currently has.
The Old Man and the Gun is a small film full of charm and affection for its protagonist that works as a perfect metaphor for the race and summarizes the main qualities of the protagonist of The Beat, Two Men and a Destination and All the President's Men. Lowery is even allowed, in a wonderful wink that will delight classic movie lovers, to include archive images of other actor films to recreate the robberies of the central character of the film.
Forrest Tucker recovers that natural magnetism of an interpreter who was never the most prominent of his generation, although he has never needed more than a half-smile to make his interlocutor fall to his charms, whether the public or a beloved Sissy Spacek in the role of an already retired woman whom he meets casually in full getaway during one of his robberies and with which he will live the last love.
Despite the undoubted chemistry of the couple, the actors had only coincided professionally in two Oscar ceremonies. In the last one, in 1981, she won the award for best leading actress and him, the statuette for best director for ordinary people. 37 years later, both could return to the Academy Awards in their seventh and second nomination as actors, respectively.
Redford only has a previous candidacy as an interpreter for The Coup. In 2015 he was about to enter the awards for Everything is Lost, but the legend was left out of the nominations at the last moment, which is a shame, Redford is an incredibly talented cinematographer, and it's no surprise that the Old Man and The Gun represent him very well.
Completing the protagonist triangle we have Casey Affleck, playing an affable police officer that has nothing to do with the characters that populate the filmography of an actor who moves in quicksand of the industry since the #MeToo explosion and the revelation that there was extrajudicially closed a case for harassment of two women who had worked in one of his films.
Lowery ignores the desires of political correctness and returns to his fetish actor, the protagonist of his acclaimed and more experimental Ain't Them Bodies Saints and a Ghost Story. Lowery's freedom is one of the great forts of The Old Man and The Gun.
The director, an author who escapes any label that moviegoers and industry want to place him in, opts for a vitalist tone, a sense of humor as naive as surprising and an atmosphere that approximates the story as if it was telling a legend. Actually, seen from a distance, it's what he's doing with Robert Redford.