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TINSLETOWN TIDBITS . . .

Diane Lane, Kevin Costner in "Let Him Go" (Photo: Let Him Go)

LET HIM GO


“Let Him Go” was released on November 7, 2020. The screenplay was written and directed by Thomas Bezuucha and based on a 2013 novel by Larry Watson. The premise is that upon the death of their only son, a retired Sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret Bleckledge (Diane Lane) living on a ranch inf Montana begin a journey to fight to rescue their widowed daughter-in-law Lorna Bleckledge (Kayli Carter) and their grandson from a dangerous off-grid family living in the Dakotas.

The film opens on a ranch family where the Bleckledge’s watch their only son breaking in a new horse. Scenes of the grandparents and the young couple in the kitchen set the stage for a loving family with an in-charge mother exercising her expertise at motherhood and being judgmental of her daughter-in-law.

When the new horse returns without their son George goes looking for him and finds him with a broken neck. Quickly you are taken from a shot of the family at his funeral to the re-marriage of their daughter-in-law to a polite young man Donnie Weboy (Will Brittian). Margaret is devasted when they leave the ranch and move to town so she tries to surprise them and from her truck see’s Donnie being brutal with her grandson and Lorna. She goes back the next day with a home-made coffee cake for them and learns they had moved to Donnie’s family in the Dakotas.

Margaret prepares to go to find them with a plan to try and bring Lorna and the boy back with her and packs her husband’s gun in her bag for protection. George tries to persuade her not to go and finally agrees to go with her. Arriving in a small-town leather shop Donnie Weboy told them he worked in a strange Weboy cousin tells them Donnie lived in another area in the Dakotas. George visited with the local Sheriff’s office to get help locating the Weboy family and gets a strange warning from the Sheriff on duty, but vague information to locate Lorna and the boy. While driving they meet a young American Indian Peter Dragswolf (Booboo Stewart) who knows the location of the Weboy gang but warns them to be incredibly careful, indicating the gang would find them first.

Leslie Manville, Blanch Weboy "Let Him Go" (Photo: Let Him Go)

Bill Weboy (Jeffrey Donovan) shows up at their motel, makes weird threats and says Lorna and the boy are with Donnie and his mother Blanch Weboy (Leslie Manville) at the ranch and she expects them for dinner. Margaret is told to ride shot gun by Bill and George is to follow in his truck. Blanch Weboy’s character reminded me of the mother in “White Heat” in her ownership of her psycho sons. Manville's performance was insanely evil. Margaret and George only see the boy for ten minutes and observe how viciously Lorna and the boy are being treated. When Margaret objects, she sees the terror in Lorna’s eyes and they leave. The next day Margaret goes to the dry good store where Lorna works and begs her to have lunch. During Lunch Margaret convinces Lorna to take the boy and meet them at 2:00 am at their motel for a get-a-way but she is caught by the Weboys and they go to the motel where terror reigns as George gets his gun and tries to stop the Weboys from harming Margaret. They violently overtake him follow orders from their mother to cut off his fingers.

At the hospital, the local Sheriff shows up and tells George all the lies the Weboys told to condemn him. He said they were accused of trying to kidnap the boy. Traveling home George is in terrible pain and Margaret goes to Peter Dragswolf for help. He puts them up and helps them so they can make the journey home. Margaret breaks down with George saying, “I’ve lost both of them.” and George replies “Sometimes all there is to remember are the things we’ve lost." Margaret is awakened to the sound of the car driving away and sees George behind the wheel. She and Peter Dragswolf take off on his horse for the Weboy camp.

George sneaks in wakes Lorna and she takes the boy to get out the front door. George has set the other end of the house on fire and Blanch yells at her sons to go put the fire out. During a confrontation George is shot but manages to shoot the brothers. Margaret arrives and sees Lorna running with the boy away from the ranch. She grabs a rifle laying on the front porch and heads in to find several people dead and George wounded. She tries to carry him out but Blanch catches them and tries to kill Margaret but George jumps in front of Margaret yelling no and takes the bullet. Blanch has her gun pointed at Margaret and calls her a bitch but Margaret fires her rifle first killing Blanch. Margaret whispers in George's ear as he is dying. and Dragswolf escapes with Lorna and the boy. The entire ranch burst into flames and burns to the ground as they all drive away.

Final scene is Lorna, Margaret and her grandson asleep in Lorna’s arms as they drive away into the sunrise for home. There was a gorgeous travelogue semblance to the gorgeous photography of Montana and the Dakotas in this film. The photography by Guy Godfree throughout was stunning.

The performances in the film were outstanding and I don't envy the members of the Academy who will be sellecting a winner or winners, but I'd bet a few of them will easily be in the running for a golden boy this year. Bravo!!!                      BC

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