The closing choice to end the Palm Springs International Film Festival was a movie about faded fame and growing old.It was also a movie about a small town film festival awarding a lifetime achievement award to an over-the-hill beloved ex movie star.
An overall great character study with an ageing Burt Reynolds in the starring role and a precociously under dressed, depressed, complex young woman perfectly played by Ariel Winter (Modern Family). An almost unrecognizable Chevy Chase plays Sonny, friend to Vic Edwards (Reynolds character) who urges him to go to Knoxville, Tennessee to collect his award.
I loved this movie by Adam Rifkin (in attendance) who said that Burt Reynolds was his childhood idol. He wrote the movie specifically for Burt and sent the script to his agent saying that if he decided not to do it, he would not make it period. He got a call the very next day from Burt Reynolds. Reynolds said that if the script was sent to him ten years ago the answer would be “no” but at this stage in his life he was ready. I loved that he spliced film clips from Reynolds old movies like Deliverance & Smoky and the Bandit alongside what he looks like now. It’s quite bittersweet to witness the differences between now and then.
And it’s a movie that makes you think about life in general. Not just that of an ex-famous movie star. It has all the necessary elements for audience appeal. Humor, feel-good, sadness, regret, choices. Some of the scenes brought tears to my eyes. It was completely human and utterly charming.
What woman did not fall for the charms of Burt Reynolds in his glory days? What a hunk he was with personality to top it all off. Handsome, funny, talented with substance. I mean just look at the women he used to date from Sally Field (the one who got away) to Dinah Shore. How time flies.
I found this film to be a refreshing and honest look at life. I highly recommend seeing it when it comes to a theatre near you sometime this year. Especially if you like (or used to like) Burt Reynolds.
Tomorrow: Best of Fest. If you’re in the Palm Springs area you will want to check this out: https://www.psfilmfest.org/2018-ps-film-festival/films/best-of-the-fest