Small town folks never leave. They grow up there, get married there, start their families there, grow old there and pass on from this realm all within a very safe and small perimeter. Being a Mid-western girl, I know these people all too well. Many of them are my friends and relatives who have never stepped foot outside of St. Louis, Missouri, except to cross the river into East St. Louis, Illinois.
Having said that, it is no secret how much I adore Robert Downey, Jr….as I’ve expressed my enthusiasm in this blog many, many times. To me…he can do NO wrong!!!!
Small towns have a way of staying in a time warp, because they never seem to let the “city folk” intrude or invade for too long. In The Judge, Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a big city lawyer from a small town who defends and wins cases for guilty clients almost uncontested. Hank seems to have the perfect wife, life and career. However, it is all turned upside town when he returns to his town under less than ideal circumstances…his mother has passed on. Now he not only has to deal with burying his Mom, but with the unresolved relationships he left behind many years ago.
On a side note…
Ironically enough, before this film was released, Downey, Jr.’s Mom passed away. As part of his grieving process, he wrote a heartwarming tribute to her on his Facebook page dated September 26th and spoke again about this post on Ellen this past Friday. It is lovely, well-written love letter honoring her and he should know that all who have seen it will concur that he did his Mom proud.
One of the most challenging un-resolved relationships Hank has to face is with his dad…The Judge (Robert Duvall). The twists, turns, comedy and heartbreaking circumstances that arise out of this situation are well worth the ticket price.
When Oscar noms are handed out this year, Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall should be at the top of the list along with the film and its director, David Dobkin. The screenplay is impeccably written by Dobkin, Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque. Their intricate storytelling with plot twists, creative use of flashbacks and subtle visual images used to advance the story was refreshing to me…an avid movie goer.
Besides the brilliant performances of Robert Downey, Jr and Robert Duvall, the supporting cast of Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard and an almost unrecognizable Balthazar Getty were all spectacular!!!
The Judge is in theaters now…Run People Run and get your tickets…like yesterday!