I love Sam Elliot. Everyone loves Sam Elliott. And yet, when it came time for Q&A with cast and crew after the film The Hero was over, nobody asked Sam a question until we burned halfway through our question period!! Does noone want to hear Sam’s voice? Is this not America? Oh, excuse me. I was having a For the Love of the Game moment.
But I get ahead of myself. For those of you unlucky enough to not get into a screening of The Hero, I feel bad. Really, I do. This was a @SundanceFest gem. Sure, everyone was fighting to get the tickets for the sold out shows, but it was most likely for the pure pleasure of seeing, and hearing, Mr. Elliott. What they didn’t know, was what a good film they were going to be treated to.
The tagline “An ailing movie star must come to terms with his past and mortality.” is quite succinct. That is exactly what the film is about.
After Nick Offerman came running onstage in circles with coffee in hand, arms extended out like an airplane, and making fluttering noises, the comedic character who plays Elliott’s neighbor and drug dealer was outstanding in his dramatic turn in the film. For those who are used to seeing him in Parks and Recreation on @NBC, he does a fine job in this film. I rather enjoyed seeing him in a serious, and humorously lighthearted, supporting role.
As for Laura Prepon’s role, playing love interest (and person interest) to Sam Elliott, I have to say that I was so pleased with how their relationship was treated. Very non-Hollywood. I felt Laura’s character was handled with such unusual grace, that had it been played the stereotypical way, this film could have been disappointing. Her role was quite pivotal. Without giving anything away (because I don’t do spoilers), this film introduces you to the idea that bitterness and joy can be found in the most unexpected places, even when you think doomsday is on the horizon.
I loved the message of this film. It dealt with difficult subject matter, but in such a humanized way. The characters, their feelings, their philosophies, are all relatable.
The intercuts of images throughout leave you wondering what they represent. Are they flashbacks, flash-forwards, or simply representative of the wanderings of our hero’s mind.
The writers had Sam Elliott in mind when they wrote the script but were careful to say that not everything in the film is biographical.
The film’s U.S. rights were picked up by The Orchard for approximately $3M.
Director Brett Haley obviously had this in mind. Sometimes, journeys are not meant to be taken alone. See this film.
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