Around the Bend | Chicago Reader

Around the Bend

This debut feature by writer-director Jordan Roberts was developed at the Sundance Institute, and when people talk about a “Sundance film,” this is what they mean: a thoughtfully written, modestly budgeted actors' piece with a thick streak of Americana. A retired archaeologist (Michael Caine) passes away at a KFC, leaving behind elaborate instructions for the disposal of his ashes at KFCs across the southwest. The ensuing odyssey forces his aging son (Christopher Walken), a longtime junkie and criminal, to make peace with his own grown son (Josh Lucas) and the young man's buoyant seven-year-old (Jonah Bobo). Roberts never surmounts the cracker-barrel contrivance of the plot, but his low-key humor, clear affection for the characters, and strong cast are enough to put this gentle drama across. R, 85 min.

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