Published February 20, 2021


Film info

  • Title Palmer
  • Director Fisher Stevens
  • Year 2021
  • Run time 1hr 50m
  • Genre Drama
  • Tagline Family is who you make it

Former high school football star Eddie Palmer went from hometown hero to convicted felon, earning himself 12 years in a state penitentiary. He returns home to Louisiana, where he moves back in with Vivian, the grandmother who raised him. While trying to keep his head down and rebuild a quiet life for himself, Palmer is haunted by memories of his glory days and the suspicious eyes of his small town community. Things become more complicated when Vivian’s hard-living neighbor Shelly disappears on a prolonged bender, leaving her precocious and unique 7-year-old son Sam, often the target of bullying, in Palmer’s reluctant care. In time, Palmer is drawn into a more hopeful world as he forges a connection with Sam through their shared experience of being made to feel different by those around them.

Live blog

3:13I really don’t understand rooms that are left the same like that, posters on the wall and everything!
10:10How was she going to get to church if he wasn’t there?
11:53Yep, that is one cute kid.
14:55“Too much TV ain’t good for you.” Outrageous suggestion.
24:21That’s right, kid, putting lipstick on is harder than it looks.
30:23“Can you imagine? The MOON.”
39:23Trying to fake your way through a kid’s tea party is fun.
47:25How can he not have got a phone yet?
55:45Sandwich making contest sounds good.
56:55Justin has one of those super loud claps.
1:02:16“What does that tell you?” “That I can be the first.”
1:07:22Because they put so much emphasis on football heroes!
1:17:59Is the kid not capable of writing a letter himself?
1:24:49This film better have a happy ending.
1:31:15The system is there for a reason but oof, it sucks.
1:38:54Well that was pretty brutal.


Ah, I loved this film. The trailer had me expecting hard-hitting drama but actually it was a little softer than I’d imagined it was going to be. Certainly to begin with, but I must admit I was crying by the end, so it wasn’t without emotion!

Big brooding bear Justin does his time and tries to make a better life for himself, scooping up an adorable if precocious kid who just wants to live his own style. The challenges they face apart and together make for a fascinating story, and what I liked about it is it wasn’t so much about them growing and becoming better people, but learning how to live in a society that didn’t understand them.

And thankfully it did have a happy ending.

Rating: 5 / 5

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