Had the widower Ben Givens executed his plan early in “East of the Mountains,” it might have made for a really brief film. As a substitute, Ben (Tom Skerritt) reconsiders killing himself within the house he and his spouse shared and decides to stage a looking accident. Along with his candy spaniel and a shotgun, Ben drives east, away from Seattle and away from his daughter (Mira Sorvino), who doesn’t know he has most cancers, towards the land of his youth. Washington’s Columbia River basin is an unlimited terrain rife with shrub and grassland, apple orchards and recollections.
His plan could have been revised, however he stays resolute. Then his automobile engine blows. Ben is picked up by two younger lovers. Their solicitousness is buzzy and heralds interactions that can alter Ben’s journey. Some are kindly. One proves almost deadly.
There’s a little bit of Hemingway-like overdetermined white masculinity to Ben, whose calling as a physician got here through the Korean Battle. Thane Swigart’s script engages that high quality and offers a few demographic observations. “It wasn’t this brown while you have been rising up,” Anita (Annie Gonzalez), a veterinarian and veteran, says in regards to the city of Ben’s childhood.
Based mostly on David Guterson’s novel of the identical identify, this participating if acquainted drama (directed by SJ Chiro) joins a rising variety of films about growing old protagonists. Typically, these movies are rewarding not a lot for his or her story as for the telling efficiency of an actor who spent his or her profession elevating the encircling ensembles. In a star’s flip, Skerritt reveals the tiniest fissures of vulnerability in his unfaltering portrayal of a heart specialist who’s ailing and grieving — and fed up with each.