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Review: Secondhand Lions

Here’s the simple facts, from Wikipedia

Secondhand Lions is a 2003 American film written and directed by Tim McCanlies. It tells the story of an introverted young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is sent to live with his eccentric great-uncles (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) on a farm in Texas.

Besides the mind-boglingly great cast, this film offers a sweet story, sweetly told, with a few grim themes to keep the whole thing from congealing into treacle. As a kid who spent summers with his grandparents, I get some extra enjoyment of the main “summer with the great uncles” plot.

The underlying theme, “What is reality?” is handled deftly, and left me hanging on every plot twist. Thank God this is an American film, so there is no ambiguity left at the end. I am telling you this not as a spoiler, but to increase your enjoyment of the film by letting you know it turns out all right at the end.

If, as A.R. Gurney, Jr. once said to me, “Good vs. Evil is a comic book; good vs. good is art,” then this film is a comic book. Who doesn’t like a comic book?


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