Wednesday, November 4, 2009


By D.E.Levine

Director: Scott Teems
Writer: Scott Teems (screenplay), William Gay (short story "I Hate to See the Evening Sun Go Down")
Producers: Terence Berry, Walton Groggins, Ray McKinnon and Laura D. Smith
Executive Producers: Raul Celaya, Adrian Jay, Larsen Jay
Co-Produces: Jeanine Rohn
Associate Producer: Anthony Reynolds
Cast: Hal Holbrook, Ray McKinnon,Walton Groggins, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston, Barry Corbin, Dixie Carter, Baarlow Jacobs, Anthony Reynolds, Brian Keith, Bruce McKinnon, William J. Mode and Jacob Parkhurst
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Drama

Hal Holbrooke has long been known as a superb supporting character film actor. He was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for Into The Wild. In this film he definitely tops that performance.

On stage, for years he has mesmerized the audience in his one man performance as Mark Twain. However, memorable lead roles in films have long escaped him.

In That Evening Sun Holbrooke, at age 84, turns in a lead performance that is undoubtedly the best he's ever done. As good as the rest of the cast is, Holbrooke's character, Abner Meecham, totally controls the film.

An independent, rural set drama helmed by a first time director Scott Teems who also wrote the screenplay, the film depicts 80-year old Abner Meecham, an Tennessee farmer angry at his son for recently putting him in a nursing home, and angry at the impending sale of his beloved farm to a young man he never liked.

Both hateful and sympathetic, Meecham appears in every scene as a senior who is both dynamic and troubled. The intensity of Holbrooke's performance actually brings out better performances in his fellow actors and enhances Holbrooke's reputation as a consummate actor.

While the subject matter may not appeal to everyone, the film is so absorbing, the feeling of the southern rural community captured so well, and the performances so believable that once the film begins time passes without notice until suddenly the film is at an end.