WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Missy is a quiet whisper of a film that brought to mind Harry Dean Stanton's last film before his passing, the absolutely marvelous Lucky. Missy keeps things simpler, the resigned reflections of an old man struggling to accept his changing life and nearing death.
As someone who has lived under a lifelong promise of nearby death only to have unexpectedly lived to surpass 50-years-old, Missy felt familiar to me, like a gentle companion and old friend not so much judging the journey as it is mumbling the "what ifs" under its cinematic breath and realizing that in all its simplicity that life is both brilliant and strikingly simple.
Missy isn't a perfect film, but a perfect film about an imperfect life would have felt, well, imperfect. Instead, Missy is an authentic film that lives and breathes it's life through Heron's weathered, stoic presence and the farm where he has lived out the simple life he has always desired yet now finds himself wondering "What if?"
A quick perusal of Heron's website reveals a comfort and familiarity with horseback roles and, indeed, horses play a rather subtle yet crucial role within the life of Missy. I couldn't help but be struck by their responses to Heron's presence, a nurturing familiarity that felt relational and genuine and remarkably touching. The same was true, however, for a dog used in the film whose presence seemed to almost be as spirit guide for this hesitant older man looking at a frightening, unfamiliar future.
After a successful festival run, including a prize for D.P. Ross Goodfellow's lensing at the Madrid International Film Festival, ES last year, Missy is looking at distribution opportunities and one can only hope that such opportunities will arise for this heartfelt reflection brought meaningfully to life via Heron's gently paced vocal work. A veteran of both stage and screen, Heron clearly understands the vitality of using one's environment and it's the entirety of this place in which Missy is set that makes it such a beautiful, impactful film. If you get a chance, you'll want to check out Missy.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic