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above: Tim Blake Nelson in the 2021 film Old Henry (Shout! Studios and Hideout Pictures)


Imperfect Redemption


OLD HENRY (2021)
Written and Directed by Potsy Ponciroli ◆ Produced by Michael Hagerty and Shannon Houchins ◆ Distributed by Shout! Studios

The weight of the past so often looms large in the Western film genre. In classic films like The Gunfighter (1950), High Noon (1952), Ride the High Country (1962), or Unforgiven (1992), the plots are often informed by events we are never shown—the heaviness of old disputes, transgressions, resentments, lovers scorned, opportunities squandered, and the regret that accompanies it all. For many of the characters in these films, their past emerges as a formidable barrier to their prospects for future happiness.

Alongside regret, at least in the movies, always comes the hope for redemption—a chance to put things right and to move on. In the case of Old Henry, the hope lies with the next generation as a father tries to set his son on a better path than his own. The film features the robustly talented Tim Blake Nelson as the titular Henry. Nelson is a perennial character actor, often in comedic roles...

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