Michael Caine as Garth
Robert Duvall as Hub
Haley Joel Osment as Walter
Kyra Sedgwick as Mae
Nicky Katt as Stan
Josh Lucas as Adult Walter
Michael O’Neill as Ralph
Deirdre O’Connell as Helen
Eric Balfour as Sheik’s Grandson
Christian Kane as Young Hub
Kevin Haberer as Young Garth
Emmanuelle Vaugier as Jasmine
Adam Ozturk as The Sheik
Jennifer Stone as Martha
Mitchel Musso as Boy
Secondhand Lions is a wonderful story set in the 1950’s about Walter (Haley Joel Osment), who is just starting the transition from being a boy into manhood. His single mother Mae (Kyra Sedgwick) is unable to date and do what she wants with Walter around, so she loads him into a car and heads to the farm of her crotchety old uncles Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall), in order to drop Walter off.
Hub and Garth are a family mystery who have been gone for 40 years. There are rumors that they are wildly rich, so mom also wants Walter to look for the money. The movie is about what Walter does find and the lessons about life that he learns from these two eccentric men. The richness of their lives is told in flashbacks and in a swashbuckling style back to the first world war as well as being played out in the 50’s with the same jour de vive.
This is Haley Joel Osment’s first movie in two years and he is ageing well as an actor. While probably giving the weakest of the performances it is still far better than most actors. And another reason is because Michael Caine and Robert Duvall shine in their roles. They are rich characters with great history and they live it up on the screen.
With jumps from the 50’s to the 1910’s and back to the present the movie could get lost in the transitions but it flows along wonderfully. The swashbuckling style of the younger Garth and Hub meshes well with the 1950’s swagger of the no longer young men as they also learn how to age.
Secondhand Lions has the wonder of The Princess Bride with a heavy dose of Grumpy Old Men. The action is mostly swordplay, with a horse chase or two but it should bring a smile to most peoples faces. The film is rated PG mostly for the fight scenes, but is a good movie to bring young boys to because of the great message that it sends about taking responsibility for yourself.
Who should see this movie? Anyone looking for a good family movie will like the values that it expresses. There is plenty of action and humor for the people that are looking for that. There is a charming love story that will make the romantics happy. Add in the mystery about the uncles fortune and you have a little bit of something for everyone. A very entertaining movie well worth going to see.