Let Him Go

Bizarro Hollywood continues to rule the box-office with Let Him Go as an unlikely major release – finally giving film fans an idea of what a Hallmark movie would look like if it was directed by Rob Zombie. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane star as a retired Montana sheriff and his wife who set out in the early ‘60s to save their grandson after their widowed daughter-in-law marries into a sleazy family. It’s kind of fun when Lane’s fierce granny packs up a Bundt cake and a loaded pistol, but Costner’s steely-eyed granddad makes it clear Our Hero is more of a traditional John Wayne type than any kind of antihero. Viewers might also feel a little cheated when lowlife matriarch Blanche Weboy (played by Lesley Manville) doesn’t do anything creepier than smoking a cigarette at the dinner table. The softest R-rating in the history of cinema still can’t keep Let Him Go from providing some sincere shocks and a few harsh lessons about societal standards. Thomas Bezucha – whose last big turn as a writer and director was 2005’s forgettable The Family Stone – insists on shooting the movie like a genuine Great Plains saga. His vision was probably delusional at the time, since the project was clearly destined for the small screen before a pandemic opened up a new opportunity. Fortunately, Let Him Go thrives on old-fashioned storytelling that only gets a shot at the multiplexes in 2020’s desperate scramble for product.

[R]