Director: Brett Haley (i'll see you in my dreams)
STARRING: Starring: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, and nick offerman
REVIEWER: emily carter
Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is an aging Western icon with a golden voice, but his best performances are decades behind him. He spends his days reliving old glories and smoking too much weed with his former-co-star-turned-dealer, Jeremy (Nick Offerman), until a surprise cancer diagnosis brings his priorities into sharp focus.
Upon being told a piece of shocking information, Lee (Sam Elliot) moves through pieces of the past and present all in his own meandering style. With unfulfilled dreams and a regretful past hanging over his head, he's forced into the hero role.
Lee gives the impression that life just happens to him, he doesn't take charge of life. This is only cruelly magnified when some terrible news lands on his lap, and he's left hanging between confronting or side-stepping it.
The Hero isn't about bold bits and blockbuster sequences, it runs as smoothly as Lee's southern drawl, but holds just as much reverence. It gives you multiple times and places to digest his character and just how much of him has been left hollow.
The story hints at Lee's successful past as an actor and is cleverly spliced with movies scenes (that may or may not have happened?). He's a 71-year-old faced with a reawakening of sorts, which isn't complete without his drug dealer (Offerman) and much-younger love interest (Prepon).
The plot is padded out with pieces of his past, featuring an ex-wife and estranged daughter, as well as a surprising push back into the spotlight. But how much longer can his shocking news be swept under the rug? And how does a man who left the past in the past decide on who needs to know?
Sam Elliot was engaging, haunting and curious. I was quite transfixed by his approach to life and found myself admiring him at many stages of the film - quite the unsuspecting hero.
A poignant watch for those in the headspace to ponder on life, its characters and choices, with a cast combo I implore you discover!