SXSW Film 2015 Review: NED RIFLE

By Jan Hamilton

Rating: B

Director/Screenwriter: Hal Hartley
Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley’s trilogy begun with Henry Fool (1998) and continued with Fay Grim (2007).  Cast: Liam Aiken, Martin Donovan, Aubrey Plaza, Parker Posey, Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, Robert John Burke, Bill Sage, Karen Sillas (U.S. Premiere)*
Former child star Liam Aiken plays the child of Henry, who has long ago fled, and Fay,who is in prison.  He has been raised in a wholesome, middle class home by a minister (Donovan) and his wife (Silas). On his eighteenth birthday, he announces that he will be leaving to find and kill his father, for causing his mother to turn traitor and be sentenced to life in
prison. On on his journey he meets people who both help and hinder him, the strangest is Susan (Plaza). Unknown to Ned, Susan had a large role in Henry’s downfall. When Ned finally meets his father, all the influences he has ever been subject to are at war with each other . What he does reflects who he has become.  Fans of Hal Hartley will welcome this final chapter in the saga. It’s a quirky and refreshing trip.

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