#REVIEW: “LET HIM GO”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Following the death of their son, grieving parents Margaret (Diane Lane) and George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) happily house their grandson and daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter). But as time passes, Lorna marries Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). To the shock of Margaret and George, Donnie secretly moves their grandson and Lorna from Montana to the Dakotas to live with his family. This sends Margaret and George on a mission to rescue their grandson from the dangerous Weboy family.
Writer-Director Thomas Bezucha has crafted a compelling Thriller with an emotional theme: the lengths mothers will go for their family. He examines this by centring on the matriarchs of both the Blackledge and Weboy families. Consumed in her grief surrounding the loss of her son, Margaret refuses to also lose her grandson. Meanwhile, Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville) is a ferocious mama bear to a violent family she has every intension of making bigger.
Bezucha shoots beautiful landscapes and claustrophobic moments inside rooms. He also doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable and at times macabre scenes. More importantly, these thrilling scenes amplify the central theme of how far one will go to protect their family. However, it does take a while to get to these suspenseful, tension-building segments. The First Act lags, focusing on the grief of Margaret and George. But once we are introduced to the psychotic Weboy family, primarily Blanche, things kick into high gear.
Manville is utterly captivating as the unhinged Blanche. Before Blanche utters a word, Manville evokes a menacing demeanour that sets the tone for the remainder of the Film. Manville gives Blanche a stare that could cut a person in two and a commanding voice that’s impossible to ignore. In one intense hotel room scene, we watch Manville meticulously change emotions from controlled to frightened to enraged.
Manville works magnificently off of Lane and Costner. Particularly in the introduction scene while ordering the couple to join her family for dinner. The three master the power dynamics within the Script and create tense scenes. Individually, Lane is brilliant at expressing Margaret’s grief, anxiety and anger in subtle amounts. And Costner gives a strong performance as a restrained father and husband who will do anything to make Margaret smile again. Carter gives a memorable performance as the victimized Lorna whose fear both halts and motivates her.
Overall, the entire Cast and Bezucha build-up tension that leads to a gratifying climax. Let Him Go is a story about nurturing and toxic familial love and what we’ll do to protect those we love.
Universal Pictures Canada/Focus Features release LET HIM GO Friday, November 6, 2020.
*Please ensure you exercise caution in observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre*.