Lucky is a film you should see for two very good reasons.
The first of those reasons is Harry Dean Stanton—giving a performance which would not only be one of his last but may well be his best, as an ageing loner, with no family, no faith, and a tenuous relationship with a community where everyone knows his name but few really know him. There are moments here where you will wince at the sight of a man, reaching the end of his days, playing another man reaching the end of his days. It seems too cruel a trick for a filmmaker to play—plucking at Stanton’s very soul and serving it up as entertainment. But if you wait for those moments—the exchanges in the bar, the song at the fiesta, and that dazzling at-peace smile—then you’ll know you’re mistaken. There’s no cruel exploitation happing here. Just art and life and the one beautifully imitating the other.
The second reason is that Lucky has something important to say and it says it with dignity and surprising wit. The message here is not so much about embracing life—or even accepting death—but enjoying the little things. Finishing a crossword, watching TV, enjoying a coffee, some pithy profanity, and a good smoke. Life doesn’t have to be epic. You don’t have to be Harry Dean Stanton the film star. You can just be an old guy traveling the path we all walk, with the same ultimate destination, and doing it without compromise or fear.