Let Him Go is described as a neo-western drama. The script was written by Thomas Bezucha, who also decided to direct the thing. It is also based on a novel by Larry Watson. The cast is led by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner and includes the talents of Jeffery Donovan, Lesly Mansfield, Kayli Carter, and Will Brittain.
Lane and Costner play Margaret and George Blackledge, who lost their only son in a tragic horse riding accident. The son’s widow later meets and marries Donnie Weboy. Margaret becomes concerned for the safety of her grandson when she witnesses the new husband being quite aggressive with his wife and the child. Things get even more troubling when Donnie whisks the wife and kid off to parts unknown to be closer to his family. When the Blackledges finally track them down. it seems that Donnie comes by his violent tendencies quite honestly. Mansfield is quite convincing as the dastardly matriarch. It was also great to see Donovan onscreen, even if his character was rather slimy.
Anyway, the film could get a little slow at times, but the performances of Lane and Costner helped to offset my impatience a bit. The scenery of Montana and North Dakota was beautifully shot. The story took place in the 1960’s and that era seems to be convincingly recreated as well.
There are some explanations I would have liked to have gotten. For example, the Weboys seemed to have some sort of influence on the town of Gladstone, North Dakota but it was not clear as to why other than them just being rather nasty. It was clear after a rather brutal assault on the intrepid grandparents that they had some pull with the local law enforcement but there was no real explanation as to how that came about. The Weboy family did not seem to be particularly wealthy and lived way out in the hills.
So the ending was a little far-fetched and not quite what I wanted to happen, but the film isn’t bad overall. It does a great job of showing both some of the challenges and the joys of a long marriage. Costner and Lane are just great together. Not all of the story elements made sense, but it did manage to remain quite suspenseful. The performances were all solid. The film has a few weak points, but not enough for me to regret seeing it.