Film Review: Let Him Go (2020)

You won’t have seen Lesley Manville like this before… Let Him Go is a real trip for a Western

“You didn’t come here to eat my pork chops?”

Those who know me know I enjoy a little Kevin Costner but I probably wouldn’t have had a look at Let Him Go as neo-westerns aren’t necessarily my first port of call when it comes to films. But the presence of Lesley Manville in there meant that it had to happen and Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey is it one of the most inspired casting decisions ever. 

She plays Blanche Weboy, the matriarch of a menacing North Dakota family who rule their particular roost with real fear, who have recently welcomed a grandchild into their mix. Except the other set of grandparents George and Margaret (Costner and Diane Lane) didn’t know anything about it, their dead son’s wife having remarried and absconded with her abusive new partner.

The opening part of the film where George and Margaret’s Montana life is displayed and then disrupted is well done, particularly in the way that it impacts on their relationship which tips gender expectations on their head. And as they decide to take the road trip/rescue mission, Thomas Bezucha’s film is so far so expected.

The late tip into batshit bonkers territory thus comes as a real surprise and for me, a hugely welcome one as I fricking love a trashy thriller, especially when it is led by someone as good as Manville chewing the scenery with such relish and aplomb. It makes Let Him Go hugely enjoyable in the end and if Glenn Close can get an Oscar nomination for that film, it’s a crying shame Manville didn’t get another for this.

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