Amarillo native Annell Brodeur on costuming Redford, Spacek for film 'Old Man & The Gun'
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By Chip Chandler — Producer
An Amarillo native was responsible for dressing two Hollywood legends in their first-ever film together.
Annell Brodeur, a 2005 Tascosa High School graduate, was costume designer for The Old Man and the Gun, the new film from director David Lowery that opened in Amarillo on Friday.
Redford — in what he says will be his last acting role — plays Forrest Tucker, an infamous yet gentlemanly bank robber who courts Spacek's Jewel when he's not committing heists.
Based on a true story (recounted in 2003 by author David Grann in The New Yorker), the film reteamed the Texas director with stars Redford (Pete's Dragon) and Casey Affleck (A Ghost Story, Ain't Them Bodies Saints) and has won raves.
It also reunited Brodeur with the creative team after her success in figuring out just how to outfit Affleck in a sheet for the surreal Ghost Story.
As Brodeur told me last year, she has known Lowery since their days in the indie film scene in Dallas, when she met him through her now-husband Toby Halbrooks, Lowery's producing partner. Since then, she has worked on all of his feature films, in addition to several outside projects on her own.
Old Man is set in 1980, and Brodeur and her team conducted research "to make sure we had the right look for the film," she said in an email.
"I didn’t want it to feel right on the pulse of fashion world of 1980; it didn’t feel like our characters were asking for that," Brodeur said. "Most of us hold onto items for several years, so overall we pulled clothes from all over the late '70s to make it feel more lived-in, generally."
Tucker, as Grann reported, was known for his natty attire, which inspired Brodeur's choice to dress him largely in a sharp, almost royal blue suit.
"All of the color palettes in the film were specifically chosen by our Director of Photography Joe Anderson, Production Designer Scott Kuzio and myself," Brodeur said. "We had our background players blend into the sets so Forrest would pop in the image and would also use a few key primary colors to give vibrancy to a neutral world."
Working with Redford was a pleasure, Brodeur told me last year.
"What can you say about Bob?," Brodeur said. "He's an icon, and it's hard to dress an icon, but you have to dig down and do it. He's a really gracious man and really sweet, and when he gets in front of the camera, he just lights up. It's a thing to see."
Spacek was another highlight, she said in her recent email.
"She’s so lovely! We worked closely early on, during fittings and testing, to find some of the right looks," Brodeur wrote. "There was quite a bit of dialogue between us about certain looks and how to best show who Jewel was. But overall it became a matter of tapping into Sissy’s own effortlessness. She can light up the room, and I tried to make her look support that quality."
Since last year, Brodeur had two films premiere at Sundance in January — Never Goin' Back, an art-house comedy about two perpetually stoned young women that's available to stream now on Amazon Prime, and The Long Dumb Road, a road-trip comedy starring Taissa Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Jason Mantzoukas and Tony Revolori that's scheduled to hit a limited number of theaters on Nov. 16.
She also worked as costume designer for Season 3 of OWN's Queen Sugar.
The Old Man and the Gun is currently screening at Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive.