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Is Let Him Go a True Story?

November 6, 2020
3 min read

Directed by Thomas Bezucha (‘Monte Carlo’), who also serves as a co-producer, ‘Let Him Go’ is a neo-Western drama set against the vast backdrop of Americana in the 1960s. It revolves around George and Margaret Blackledge (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), a Montana-based middle-aged couple who are still coming to terms with the death of their son. Their grandson Jimmy is the only part of him that they still have with them.

However, their former daughter-in-law, Lorna (Kayli Carter), marries Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain) and moves to North Dakota, where his family lives. She takes Jimmy with her. The suddenness of the loss reminds the Blackledges of their son’s death, and they embark on a desperate journey to retrieve Jimmy. As they travel in their old Chevy station wagon, they learn the Weboys are an off-the-grid dangerous family led by their ruthless matriarch, Blanche (Lesley Manville).

Donnie also has an older brother, Bill (Jeffrey Donovan). Living in their sprawling farmhouse, the Weboys believe that the law doesn’t apply to them. It is up to George, a former sheriff, to teach them otherwise. The film’s expansive setting, complex characters, and gritty plot make it seem like it is based on real-life events. Here is what we have been able to find out about it.

Is Let Him Go Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Let Him Go’ is not based on a true story. The film is a cinematic adaptation of the 2013 namesake novel by Larry Watson. Bezucha himself wrote the screenplay. His co-producers are Mitchell Kaplan and Paula Mazur of The Mazur Kaplan Company. Guy Godfree served as the cinematographer, and Michael Giacchino created the score. Since its release in 2020, the film has received mostly positive reviews, with critics especially praising the performances by the veteran cast.

As an author, Most of Watson’s works are set in the northern US states. He was born and grew up in North Dakota, before obtaining a Doctorate in creative writing from the University of Utah. He was a professor of writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin for two-and-a-half decades. In 2003, he became a visiting professor at Marquette University. As the name suggests, his first novel, ‘Montana 1948’, is set in Big Sky County in the 1940s.

‘Let Him Go’ is Watson’s ninth novel. Bezucha, while adapting the book, introduced certain changes. In the novel, the story begins in 1951, whereas the film is set in the 1960s. He also switched home states between Blackledges and the Weboys. Watson wrote the grieving parents as the inhabitants of North Dakota and made the members of the Weboy clan Montana natives.

Read More: Where Was Let Him Go Filmed?

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