Hudson (2019)

After his mother’s death, Hudson goes on a journey throughout the Hudson Valley to scatter her ashes and perhaps learn a few lessons about life, serve up some imaginary ice cream cones and even get in a few rounds of miniature golf. An accident as a child has left him a timid and reclusive mess of a human being, but he’s charming and ends up showing that he knows way more than those in his life who claim to be adults.

Directed by Sean Daniel Cunningham, who co-wrote the film with star Gregory Lay, who plays Hudson’s cousin Ryan, this movie surprised me because I generally can see through the sentimentality of most films as cheap emotion. Instead, this film has a genuine heart.

There’s a great appearance by Richard Masur — Clark from The Thing — as Hudson’s father, as well as stand-out performances by Lay, Mary Catherine Greenawalt as the hitchhiker Sunrise who comes into their lives and David Neal Levin as the title character.

While the tale in Hudson isn’t something that breaks new ground, it does stand out by the gentle interactions between its characters, the gorgeous way that it was shot and just that it’s so competently made, which seems more and more doesn’t seem to happen in major films, much less smaller efforts.

If you met Hudson in real life, you may be put off by his behavior. But if you stayed with him, gave him a chance and actually listened to him, you’d end up having a richer and fuller life. This film gives you that in much less time and from the comfort of your home.

Hudson is available on Amazon, Apple TV and On Demand from 1091 Pictures.

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