Saw this movie many years ago, and had occasion to see it again recently.
It's filled with good performances, none more so than Peter Fonda in the title role. The aging and weary Ulee has heavy life burdens. He's a vet who lost many friends in Vietnam. He's a widower to a woman who was his soulmate. He's father to an imprisoned felon. Father-in-law to a junkie daughter-in-law, who ran away and left him as a stand-in- parent to his two young granddaughters, including a rebellious teen (nice performance by a young Jessica Biel). His dying trade, beekeeping, is physically demanding. His body is breaking down. His son's past sins are coming back as a very real danger to the family. He clings desperately to his values and way of life, but it's clear his soul is nearly exhausted.
And if that's not enough, Ulee's upbringing, character and outlook on life demand that he carry all this weight alone, without help from outsiders.
Fonda's performance has you feeling like you're bearing some of the crushing weight on Ulee's back. Palpable. You can't help but feel sorry for him, with every step in his painful, limping gait.
This is an understated tale of a man persevering against life trying to tear him down, with the kind of burdens many people in our society know all too well.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Ulee is called one day by his incarcerated son, Jimmy, asking for a favor. Jimmy will repay his debts if they save his wife, Helen, from hoodlums. Ulee must now risk his and his family's lives to save Helen.
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April 11, 2016 at 03:02 PM