End of Sentence could have been a real downer. It’s about an estranged father and son taking a strange trip to Ireland Their mission? To carry out the dying wish of Anna, their wife and mother, who wanted the two of them to spread her ashes on a specific lake in the Emerald Isle. Although including many sad scenes, this fine drama emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. Plus, John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) as Frank, the father, and Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Sean, the son, give revelatory performances as a father and son brought together after many years apart.
These two actors play men with extremely different personalities. Hawkes endows Frank with a calm demeanor, while Lerman makes Sean appear like a loose cannon willing to take risks. When Sean is being released from prison after serving a sentence for auto theft, his father meets him outside the gate. But Sean doesn’t even want to talk to his dad. He’s bound and determined not to have anything to do with his father. However, Frank persists because his wife (Andrea Irvine) insisted that her husband and son should be together on this mission.
When Sean hears this, he is still reluctant. However, he can’t find a job because of his police record, so he agrees to go along. And what a trip it turns out to be! Surprises are in store for both characters as well as for an intriguing lady (Sarah Bolger/The Lazarus Effict) they meet along the way.
In Ireland lies a lake to find
by two blue men who need to bind.
Estranged for years, a son and dad.
The reasons why? They’re very sad.
An urn they carry gives them grief.
They want the journey to be brief.
But things go wrong along the way.
Will feelings change or will they stay?
Humans and Nature combine here
to make us shed more than one tear.
Still, “End of Sentence” deserves cheers.
It shines a light on hope, not tears.
We want to know why Sean harbors such strong feelings against his father, so this dramatic offering smolders with suspense throughout most of its running time. Also, our interest never wanes concerning why Anna chose a particular lake in Ireland. Fortunately, all is revealed in a conclusion that ends up being one of the best “feel-good” endings I’ve ever seen on screen.
I have to admit that End of Sentence’s beautiful scenery and Irish tunes made me wish my husband and I could take a trip to Ireland after the virus pandemic leaves our planet. Stay safe, everyone!
(Released by Gravitas Ventures. Not rated by MPAA.)
Director: Elfar Adelsteins
Writer: Michael Armbruster
Cinematographer: Karl Oskanson