Hank Palmer is a big city lawyer and when we first meet him his life doesn’t seem to be going very well, getting ready to divorce his wife and a family bereavement means he must go back home.
It takes quite a lot of character build up throughout the film, but that is essential so we can understand the hostility between Hank and his father who is the town’s judge. Along with the relationships with his brothers, and the memories which haunt Hank especially on returning to the small town. He ends up staying a lot longer than he first expected due to his father being put on trial for murder after hitting someone with his car.
I have been looking forward to this film not only am I a big fan of Robert Downey Jr but I also really like courtroom dramas. Just something about them and you get right into it and enthralled with the story and what the outcome is actually going to be. This film is more than that though it is about the relationship between a father and son and trying to find out exactly why Joseph seems to hate his son.
It has a few little twist and turns along the way which I won’t spoil, but it keeps you guessing and wondering what exactly is going to happen next. The performances from the whole cast are very good and they all work well together. Downey Jr and Duvall share some fantastic scenes and really bring out the best in each other. Which makes for a really good film to watch, don’t let the running time put you off it didn’t feel that long at all.
The film explores many different types of relationships and how experiences from your younger years can really still affect you in later adult life. Hank must think about his past even more when he runs into old girlfriend Samantha who we find out he just randomly left one night when he went to a concert and never actually returned. Vera Farmiga’s part isn’t that big but effective showing that Hank is very messed up at the core.
I really liked when Hank’s daughter Lauren made the visit as thought that brought out a different side to the character and to also see how the Judge changed and showed how soft he was really. Leaving you to wonder what exactly happened between him and Hank all those years ago. He is hard on him from the second he arrives and really pushes him to the edge.
So if you want to go and see a good drama I would recommend this one, it let’s Robert Downey Jr show that he really can act with the best of them and turn his talents to a slightly different type of role. Don’t worry though he still has the charisma and gets that through in brilliant ways in this one. He bounces off well with the rest of the cast, baring in mind he is on-screen nearly all of the time.
I’m not going to spoil the ending but it certainly does make you think and wonder if everything will always work out for the best or not. It is difficult to decide which way it is going to go and how you can think the same of your life. Maybe it will make family feuds seem to be not that much at all in the end, you can’t change who you are related to so maybe you have to try to make it work before it is too late?
This has to be the start of the drama’s hitting the cinemas in the run up to Oscar season. Will this one be up there?