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'Let Him Go' is a smart thriller powered by motherhood

The movie stars Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Lesley Manville
Credit: Focus Features
Diane Lane (left) stars as “Margaret Blackledge” and Kevin Costner (right) stars as “George Blackledge” in director Thomas Bezucha’s LET HIM GO, a Focus Features release. Credit : Kimberley French / Focus Features

SEATTLE — On-screen power couple Kevin Costner and Diane Lane reunite in a new thriller opening this week.

They play husband and wife in Let Him Go, a mid-century period drama.

Set in Montana and the Dakotas, the film features stunning scenery, tender moments in a longtime marriage, and suspense surrounding a dark custody battle waged outside the courts.

“There are three mothers in this story and it's quite a conundrum," Lane said.

She plays Margaret, a middle aged woman devastated by the death of her adult son. After his widow gets remarried, Margaret witnesses the new stepfather slapping her grandson and becomes determined to protect him.

As her quiet but resolute husband, Costner reluctantly joins her on her journey.

Lane refers to him as, "The beautiful and fabulous and amazing Kevin Costner."

Much of their dialogue is unspoken - transmitted in glances and silence.

"Long term relationships do have massive amount of communication that is not verbal,” Lane said, laughing. "We did have chemistry and we did have a history of being married before from two other films."

But their foe is a formidable one - the stepfather's mother, Blanche, played by British actress Lesley Manville.

"This woman, this character, this real bad mama from North Dakota,” Manville said. "All I was thinking was, 'I can't wait to play this woman!'"

When the two families finally meet, things get crazy. But Manville said as soon as the scenes ended, the cast slipped back into easy friendships.

"When you're in character, you're in character. But when you're not, it's done," she said. "So, between takes, we’d sit off the stage and Kevin got very fond of letting me share his headphones and he'd play me his music of his band."

Let Him Go is a story of loss, grief, and the determination to right wrongs - a thoughtful, unexpected thriller that will keep audiences engaged to the very end.

"This is a tough film, for sure. But I think it's fighting for kindness, I think that's the point,” Lane said.

Let Him Go is rated R and is now available on BluRay.

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