Saturday, February 20, 2021

[Blu-ray Review] - Let Him Go (2020)

For those who don't know, the neo-western drama LET HIM GO (R; 114 minutes) recently landed on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Director and producer Thomas Bezucha (The Family Stone; Monte Carlo) adapted the script from the 2013 novel of the same name by Larry Watson. Focus Features released the film to theaters in November 2020 and grossed just over $10 million. 

Set in 1963, LET HIM GO centers on retired sheriff George Blackledge (played by Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (played by Diane Lane) traveling from Montana to North Dakota in search of their grandson, Jimmy. Their son James had died in an accident. Three years later, their daughter-in-law, Lorna (played by Kayli Carter), married Donnie Weboy (played by Will Britain). From afar, Margaret witnessed Donnie abusing Lorna in front of Jimmy. Worried about her grandson, Margaret attempts to visit them, only to learn they had moved away without saying goodbye.

Fearing the worst, she convinces George to help find Lorna and Jimmy, which leads them to North Dakota, where they encounter the Weboy clan, lead by the patriarch, Blanche (played by Lesley Manville). Upon meeting her, George and Lorna quickly realize the only way to get their grandson back is by force.

Final Thoughts

Character-driven dramas have become almost extinct because Hollywood's obsession with comic book superheroes and other CGI-fest garbage, so I was surprised a big studio decided to produce an actual movie and release it to theaters. Shockingly a film with no political agenda received mostly good praise from critics - and for once, I agree with them.

LET HIM GO is a solid film with a talented director, great performances from the entire cast, beautiful cinematography, a haunting score by Michael Giacchino. I read the book by Larry Watson last year, and daresay, this is a rare case where the movie is better than the book.

The picture and sound qualities on the Blu-ray are topnotch. There are three bonus features - The Making of LET HIM GO, The Blackledges: Kevin Costner & Diane Lane, and Lighting The Way: Thomas Bezucha.

Overall, LET HIM GO is a thrilling movie lead by excellent performances. It's a slow burner with lots of violence, especially in the final act. The story is very dark, so it might not appeal to viewers who love happily ever after endings. If you're a fan of Paramount Network's Yellowstone series, which also stars Kevin Costner, then most likely you'll enjoy this film.

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