Robert Redford has said that at age 82, this will be his last acting role. If this is true, its unfortunate but for any profession there is a limit for most people in just how much they want to do, even with such an enviable career like Redford has had. Ironically, the high point in Redford’s career was winning best Director for “Ordinary People”, in 1980, arguably the best picture of its kind ever made. Redford has never won a best actor Oscar, nominated in 1973 for the Sting, which like so many other actors as good as Redford has been, makes no sense.
The new film “The Old Man and the Gun” is about Forrest Tucker, a career criminal who robbed many banks and more amazingly escaped from prison no less than 16 times. The interesting part of this story is the fact that Tucker robbed all of these banks without any violence and was actually polite when he walked into a bank and asked for their money, just showing the gun he had under his coat. Tucker also worked with two other accomplices, played well by actors Danny Glover and Tom Waits. Tucker was just a person who enjoyed robbing banks and could never have been rehabilitated; to him being a criminal was life to him and very often he had a smile on his face while robbing a bank or running from the police.
At the start of this movie they mention that this story is “almost true” and we do not learn what parts are true or Hollywood embellishment and this includes the girlfriend Tucker finds while escaping the police, played by Sissy Spacek, who I have not seen in a movie for a number of years. Casey Affleck plays the police detective assigned to find Tucker and his gang and this is the first role I have seen him in since his Academy Award performance in the great movie “Manchester by the Sea”, released in 2016.
The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this movie are a very strong 89% and I agree with that score. Hopefully Redford will change his mind and act again and even direct again. I highly recommend The Old Man and the Gun.