At first glance, The Old Man & the Gun is a slick, by-the-numbers heist film, albeit with a more advanced cast.
But with Robert Redford’s effortless gravitas, cheeky smile and unending mojo, he proves again here he can command a screen with a graceful ease.
The man is pushing 85, and has more crackling screen presence than 60 per cent of today’s stars. As he and Sissy Spacek, whose big break Carried came out 42 years ago, trade smiles, you can feel the movie magic they’re conjuring.
This true story about a career bank robber who continues to hit financial institutions with accomplices well into his golden years is a can’t-make-this-up showcase, and provides the perfect swan song for Redford.
Expect him and Spacek to be nominated in leading categories, but don’t discount the comedic relief from Tom Waits and Danny Glover.
Though he’s not in Hollywood’s good graces right now, Casey Affleck gives a charismatic, muted performance as a cop set on catching the robbers.
This is his third pairing with director David Lowery, after Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and A Ghost Story, and he shows he can make a big impact with less screen-time.
The Old Man & the Gun is telling you a story you don’t know, but the acting, direction and light-hearted tone hark back to the times of Bonnie & Clyde and Ocean’s 11, in a wonderfully nostalgic fashion.