11 November 2009

That Evening Sun

Written & Directed by: Scott Teems
Full credits at IMDb

Like the recent Is Anybody There?, also built around a grizzled geezer who resents his placement in a care facility, That Evening Sun, a cheapjack Deep South allegory in which a clash between archetypes escalates to a fiery face-off, boasts a single virtue: the centerpiecing of a withered and weathered performer at the top of his golden-age game. While that otherwise unremarkable film gave Michael Caine a role fine enough to go out on, should he have died after the shoot, here the same is done for Hal Holbrook. Hitherto, the aged actor has had a lengthy, respectable career: he's best known for his portrayals of Mark Twain on the stage and small screen, his television turn as Lincoln, his recurring roles on Designing Women and Evening Shade, his defining Deep Throat. But it wasn't until a heartbreaking performance in the otherwise abysmal Into the Wild in 2007 that he catapulted to the top of the list of the finest working actors of his generation. He even snagged an Oscar nomination.

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