Flash Movie Review: Secondhand Lions

They say a picture paints 1,000 words and for the most part it can. However, there are some pictures/photographs that I feel would be a perfect accompaniment to an oral history. Family photos are one example that comes to mind. Whether they are from my family or friends, I have always been curious to hear the stories associated with the pictures. Some of those old sepia toned photos pasted onto hard cardboard, where the people are staring straight ahead with stern faces, can provide some interesting tales. Among my photographs I have sat and wondered what future generations would think about them. There is the photo of a dog’s head lying on a pillow with a blanket pulled up to his chin. They have no idea that in the middle of the night when I would get up to use the bathroom, our dog would jump up onto the bed into my spot and pull the covers up over himself. I would come back to bed and see him looking at me as if he were asking me, “What do you want?” That dog was such a character.    BECAUSE I feel family stories are important and need to be shared; I thoroughly enjoyed what was being said in this film festival nominated movie. Taking place in Texas, Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, Pay it Forward) played Walter, a young boy whose mother Mae, played by Kyra Sedgwick (Gamer, The Closer-TV), planned to drop him off with his eccentric uncles so she could go to school out of state. Uncle Garth and Uncle Hub, played by Michael Caine (Children of Men, Sleuth) and Robert Duvall (The Godfather franchise, Crazy Heart) were 2 of the most unusual men, who told strange stories, Walter had ever seen in his life. This comedic drama had such a pleasant way of letting the stories unfold from scene to scene. There was a sense of homeyness and familiarity that many viewers could identify to their own families. Though some of the roles verged on being cartoon like, I thought the cast’s acting was incredibly good. Michael and Robert were perfect, giving even doses of abruptness and quiet sweetness out of their characters. With the story set in the 1960s, this family film had a different pace and simpleness where some individuals might have a hard time relating to it. I, on the other hand, found such a feeling of comfort and deepening between the characters in this picture that it made me yearn for those family get togethers where the older relatives would share their family histories with the younger generations.


2 2/3 stars — DVD


About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on July 15, 2014, in Dramedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Theatre of Pain

    I watched this movie several years back and I watched it on more than one occasion enjoying it every time. In my youth, I failed to listen to the wisdom of my elders but as I grew older, I came to appreciate the stories of their lives that they wanted to share. I think that is the biggest draw of this film for me.

  2. One of my favorites… there is indeed a feeling of comfort in this movie of an era long past. The ending especially was perfect – I can watch it over and over again.

  3. This has always seemed like such an underrated movie. So glad it’s getting love here. It’s long been a family favorite!

  4. Love your phrase here, “homeyness”. You’re totally right. This film just makes you feel comfortable, as if you could have a slight smile on your face throughout the entire movie. Nice review!

  5. One of those cinematic gems that needs to be discovered. It barely lasted a week in the cinemas over here way back when it was first released. It’s an amazing film with great work from all the cast members, especially with Duvall and Caine.

    • You have got to be kidding, only one week at the cinema. That is such a shame; I hope my review will offer people the opportunity to see this wonderful film. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.

  6. I must say that I am a fan of this movie, I found it to be highly entertaining! Great review!

  7. Great review, you’ve made me want to see this… Thanks.

  8. Not surprised that this review got 14 comments so far. This movie is such an awesome one! One of my favorites. This is one of the movies that I especially like to watch with my mom. She likes action movies well enough but when a mother has three men in the house she doesn’t get much else besides action. This is one that she really liked and I think because of the time spent with her and Dad and my brother this film holds a special place in my heart. Good review. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for coming by to share your family’s story; I really enjoyed hearing this film has a special place in your heart. It is a great memory for you I can see and that is very cool.

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