Coming from writer/director Thomas Bezucha and Focus Features is the story of love when one couple demands they LET HIM GO.
Retired lawman George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret Blackledge (Diane Lane) are living a quiet life with their son James (Ryan Bruce) and daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter). With the arrival of their grandson Jimmy, George and Margaret are loving ever moment they spend with him.
After a tragedy, Margaret cannot seem to find herself again but returns to life. That is until Lorna decides to marry Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain) and move into a town apartment. Feeling the empty nest, Margaret and George once again continue on. While shopping one day, Margaret sees how Donnie is treating both Lorna and Jimmy and is not sure what to do.
Returning to their apartment the next day, she is shocked to learn that during they night they left taking everything with them. Running home to George, she tells him everything and that she is packing up the car to go find their grandson. Margaret makes it very clear that she is willing to take to the road with or without George.
Once on the road, George looks up friends he knew on the force to see if any of them can help find the couple. The more north they go the more the name Weboy seems to cause people to shut down. Parking for the evening they meet Peter Dragswolf (Booboo Stewart) who offers the couple food and a place to stay for the night.
The next morning, they finally find Bill Weboy (Jeffrey Donovan) who knows exactly where Lorna and Jimmy are. Taking them to the furthest backroad, they come across a house where Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville) waits for George and Margaret. The moment they enter the house there is tension and mystery behind this family who has their grandson.
It becomes clear that the Weboy’s are a savage family who are not about to let Margaret or George walk away with what they think is rightfully theirs. When the couple go to Lorna to try and make a plan, the treachery of the Weboy’s comes out which means only one thing – someone is going to pay dearly.
Costner as George Blackledge is a man of few words. It is clear he cares about what happens to his family but seems a bit lost when it comes to what happens to grandson Jimmy. Trying to keep things together, he finally realizes that the danger is to great walk away. Costner seems a gentle giant in this role and when he takes action, its best to stand back and let it be done.
Lane as Margaret is a stubborn woman who loves her son and grandson. When life brings her unexpected and saddening changes, it also brings out the mother tiger inside toward her grandson. There is not anything she did that I would not do but that being said – there is a moment when she goes to far and the family pays for it dearly. Lane does not take garbage from anyone and when she and Blanche Weboy have a knock-down staring contest, it gave me chills!
Manville as Blanche is a woman no one wants to be left in a room alone with. She is powerful, fearless and does not mind spending a bullet or two on someone who gets in her way. Her reach is far, and no one will cross her. Manville is stunning and frightening at the same time. Nothing wrong with being a frightening character if you do it well and she most certainly does.
Carter as Lorna is a woman who goes from one extreme to the other when it comes to family. The undercurrent of her newest marriage is one that rings of such fear it is palpable thanks to Carter. Brittain as Donnie is nothing short of a man who is used to doing whatever he wants to whoever he wants – except for Mama!
Donovan as Bill is a Weboy that will smile while stabbing you in the back. His character made me so uncomfortable and in need of a shower. When Donovan has a chance to be bad, he takes it running and leaves the rest of us breathless with it all. Well played sir, well played.
For the stunner of the film, Booboo Stewart plays Peter, the loner Native American who just wants to be left to live his life. Getting away from schools trying to change him, he clearly sees that George and Margaret are in over their heads yet when Margaret asks – he answers.
Other cast include Bram and Otto Hornung as Jimmy, Bradley Stryker as Sheriff Nevelson, Connor Mackay as Elton Weboy and Greg Lawson as the Glastone Sheriff.
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The film is actually based on Larry Watson’s novel as Bezucha wrote the screenplay from that source material. It is a film about love, family, sacrifice, vengeance, and all the ugly mess that goes on in families. It is clear the Blackledge family believes in one kind of family while the Weboy’s believe in something most of us would disagree with.
The story is skillfully told with the backdrop of the times and with the bonus of stunning cinematography. The entire film is masterfully simple yet tells a complicated tale of two families and what it takes to keep family.
In the end – fight for family!