A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.
Lee Hayden is a veteran actor of Westerns whose career's best years are behind him after his one really great film, "The Hero." Now, scraping by with voice overs for commercials, Lee learns that he has a terminal prognosis of pancreatic cancer. Unable to bring himself to tell anyone about it, especially his estranged family, Lee can only brood alone as troubling, yet inspiring, dreams haunt him. Things change when he meets Charlotte Dylan, a stand-up comedian who becomes a lover who inadvertently jump-starts his public profile. Now facing a profound emotional conflict of having a potential career comeback even as his imminent death is staring him in the face, Lee must finally come to terms with both realities when he finally confesses his situation to the one person he can. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
"The Hero" brings the story of Lee. As the movie opens, Lee is voicing his latest commercial for Lone Star BBQ Sauce. "Can you do that one more time", the producer asks again and again. Later on, Lee's agent gives him the good news he's been selected to receive a life time award from the Western Appreciation Guild. But Lee also receives bad news when his doctor tells him he has pancreatic cancer and he must start treatment right away. Deflated, Lee goes to a buddy, who also supplies him with weed and other drugs. By chance, Charlotte stops by at the same time for her own supply of weed. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from writer-director Brett Haley, who previously brought us "I'll See you In My Dreams". Here Haley reflects on the life if an aging Western actor whose only significant role was in "The Hero", a movie made in the 70s. "I've been busy, not achieving", Lee comments. Haley pays attention to the details, as of course it's the small things in life that make most of our lives. Whether the relationship between the Lee character (in his early 70s) and the Charlotte character (in her late 30s) is believable I will leave to you to decide... The movie is chock-full of top performances, none of which more so than Sam Elliott, who seems to be only getting better as he is getting older. Other noteworthy roles come from Laura Prepon as Charlotte (in a role MILES away from her TV work in That 70s Show and Orange Is the New Black), and also Katharine Ross as Lee's ex (she is Elliott's wife in real life). And if you wonder who Edna St. Vincent Millay is, this movie will explain once and for all...
"The Hero" opened on 2 screens for all of Greater Cincinnati this weekend, and I wouldn't wait to see it. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely (but not sold out). If you are in the mood for a movie that plays out rather predictably but nevertheless is enjoyable to take in and features a career-best performance from Sam Elliott, "The Hero" is just for you, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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