“High Low Forty”
Director Paddy Quinn’s “High Low Forty” introduces us to two long estranged brothers who reconnect on a road-trip home to say goodbye to their hardened father who is dying.
Billy (Kurt Finney) was unexpected dishonorably discharged from the Army and this caused him to angrily leave the family home in Texas after his father completely disowned him. He has never had the chance to say goodbye to Joe his teenage brother. We move forward ten years and Joe (director Quinn) has finally located Billy in Los Angeles to tell him that their father is dying.
Since they have not been in touch, the two brothers are total strangers and Joe has to work really hard to persuade Billy to drive back home with him to Texas in his old truck to see his father for the last time. As they travel, Joe learns his brother is gay and this fuels arguments not just because Joe is homophobic, but because he is offended and hurt that Billy didn’t feel he could share the information with him.
Over the next few days on the road, the brothers attempt to discover more about each other and disowning the stories that they made up over the years that they did not share their lives and were in denial, each about the other.
Billy has never forgiven his father and will never be able to do so but he eager to re-establish his close relationship with Joe even though they have a lot to work through and compromise on. While there are really no surprises, the movie succeeds because of the chemistry between the brothers and the powerful script. We are left to wonder how this all ends.