Hollywood star Josh Lucas grew up in Gig Harbor and tonight he returned home to show a film he’s particularly proud of.
The star of “Sweet Home Alabama” and this year’s TV drama “The Firm” is a Gig Harbor High School graduate.
“Red Dog” is a 2011 Australian film that’s gone on to be the eighth highest grossing movie in that country. It tells the true story of a stray kelpie that worked his way into the hearts of a small mining community in Australia’s Outback. The dog had a profound effect on the town’s inhabitants through his quirky behavior and ultimately, a now legendary loyalty.
The festival, which runs through Sunday, will show 54 films at the Galaxy Theatre in Uptown Gig Harbor. On the bill are features, documentaries, shorts and kid films.
Thursday night’s opening event featured a Q and A after the screening with Lucas, who plays John in the film. John, an American working at a mining camp in Dampier, becomes the title character’s master.
It’s a thoroughly enjoyable film if a bit heavy-handed in its direction. Some of the camera angles and character actors are a bit over the top. But Lucas turns in a measured, understated performance.
One disappointment was the projection itself. Highlights were completely blown out, which is photographer-speak to say that anything bright (the sky, sand, white clothing) had no detail because it was too bright.
Lucas brought his wife, mother and young son to the event.
“This community is why my career in part became what it is,” Lucas told the crowd. He gives credit to Gig Harbor High School’s drama and debate organizations.
Lucas started his film career while still a teen. He was an extra in filmed-in-Tacoma “I Love You to Death” with River Phoenix and Kevin Kline. “My eyes were kind of blown open,” he said.
I interviewed Lucas a couple of weeks ago. Read my story here.
After the screening and Q and A attendees relocated to Canterwood Golf and Country Club for a reception. Festival director Marty Thacker presented Lucas with a hand carved, wood award made by local wood worker Jeffrey Samudosky of J.M.S. Wood Sculpture.
Gig Harbor Film Festival
When: Oct. 19-21
Where: The Galaxy Theatre in Uptown Gig Harbor, 4649 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Gig Harbor
Tickets: $8 adults, $6 seniors and students
Information: 253-851-FILM , gigharborfilmfestival.org/