Picks and Pans Review: Ulee's Gold
It has been nearly three decades since Peter Fonda starred in a memorable movie (1969's Easy Rider), which is why you're caught by surprise at just how powerfully good he is in Ulee's Gold, a small, sinewy character study made by writer-director Victor Nunez (Ruby in Paradise).
Fonda, who will remind many viewers of his father here, plays a reclusive beekeeper in Florida. A widower, he's taking care of his two young granddaughters because their father, his son, is in jail and their mother is a druggie. When a couple of his son's lawbreaking buddies threaten to harm the family, Fonda, in his own slow, deliberate way, swings into action. Also contributing a lovely performance is Home Improvement's Richardson, who plays a divorced nurse who recently moved in across the street. Watch for the scene in which, while deciding whether to accept a cup of tea from Fonda, her unsparing gaze makes it clear that what she's really weighing is whether it's worth her time to take a chance on him. (R)