Film: Let Him Go

Diane Lane as “Margaret Blackledge” sits on a rock with Kevin Costner (right) as “George Blackled standing

Diane Lane (left) stars as “Margaret Blackledge” and Kevin Costner (right) stars as “George Blackledge” in LET HIM GO - Credit: Kimberley French/Focus Features

Directed by Thomas Bezucha. Starring Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Kayli Carter, Booboo Stewart, Jeffrey Donovan and Lesley Manville.

In cinemas from December 18.  Running time: 113 mins.


Let him go, let him go, that perfect boy has gone. The last time Lane and Costner were parenting in the American heartland their (adopted) son was made of steel. In this film, their boy dies falling off a horse in the first five minutes. A few years down the line in 1963 the pair of them get into their station wagon and head off into the badlands of North Dakota to rescue their grandson from the clutches of the multi-handed backwoods Weboy clan. (I guess Poolads would've sounded silly.)

Let Him Go is exactly the kind of hard squint, ain't no laughin' matter Americana you expect of Costner. An early scene of domestic bliss is accompanied by Buddy Holly's Oh Boy playing on the radio, because there ain't gonna be no a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-bop-bam-boom in this. Slow and steady is the setting. The film is well played and looks splendid; Bezucha is a decent big screen storyteller, but the storytelling is ponderous and uninvolving, until the third act when it takes a wild lurch into the improbable.