Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The Straight Story
"The Straight Story" chronicles a trip made by 73-year-old Alvin Straight from Laurens, Iowa, to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin, in 1994 while riding a lawn mower. The man undertook his strange journey to mend his relationship with his ill, estranged, 75-year-old brother Lyle.
There are twelve levels of cinematic emotionality. It goes like this, in order from least serious to holy shit bro, stop crying:
1. A slight clenching in the throat and behind the eyes.
2. Eye moisture.
3. Greater amounts of eye moisture.
4. Actual, honest-to-god, mobile tears.
5. Tears accompanied by a trembling of the lip.
6. So many tears that it becomes difficult to see.
7. Repressed whimpers.
9. Loud whimpers.
10. Full on bawling.
11. The Straight Story.
12. Shitting yourself to death.
Only three movie scenes in my life have ever actually made me cry. And when I say cry, I mean CRY. Like cry cry. I "cry" during movies all the time. But I…
Angelo Badalamenti's score swells with pure emotion. Similar to another brilliant and beautiful story, Paris, Texas, (there's way too many commas there) this is about a man on the path to redemption. Similar to that movie, this is a pure mannered, unmelodramatic weeper.
Little by little, this curious man is unpacked like a Russian doll. Across Iowa to Wisconsin, cornfields galore on his small lawn mower, we're truly in the midwest. And as the film unfolds, we're confronted with a man whose crippled old frame belies his brutal past: a past of war and alcoholism and brotherly love and loss and children reared amidst violence and tempers. It's almost unbearably close to home.
I think Forrest's stellar review sums it…
Film #89 of Project 90
”I'd give each one of 'em a stick and, one for each one of 'em, then I'd say, 'You break that.' Course they could real easy. Then I'd say, 'Tie them sticks in a bundle and try to break that.' Course they couldn't. Then I'd say, "That bundle... that's family."
David Lynch is famous for his mind-bending and surreal style and his special way of mixing reality and dream which eventually leads to nightmarish and perplexing experiences, but with this he shows that he has the ability to move out of his comfort zone and deliver something even more fascinating, and more amazingly he doesn't need anything special, just give him a stubborn old man…
It is sometimes easy to forget what a versatile director Lynch really is as he lately only deals in vagueness and weirdness. The Straight Story is a gentle reminder of what Lynch is also capable of. Delving into a character and placing him into the real world through us, his viewers.
The title is far from a clever play on words but its ambiguity serves the film really well as this really is a simple story told in the straightest way imaginable by a director who can find the realness in a performance and a character, be they big or small. Just look at the faces of the people our hero encounters, they are real people, heck, look at our…
Is it possible to give a film seven stars on here? Because it should be.
Fuck off, "Magnolia", this is my favorite movie now. Why? Because David Lynch. Because Richard Farnsworth. Because Angelo Badalamenti. Because Harry Dean Stanton. Because Sissy Spacek. Because dat soundtrack. Because dat emotion. Because dat "that's family" speech. Because dat fucking ending, holy shit.
THIS is how to make a movie, people. It's slow-moving but not boring. It's intensely emotional without being sappy or sentimental. It's well-directed, well-edited, and brilliantly acted. Richard Farnsworth deserves an enchanted longsword for the performance he gives here. My god. His face is like some sort of ever-changing, capricious elven forest. His face is like a "Magic: The Gathering" card.…
I've been going through some major life changes recently. I'm attending college, I'm becoming a full-fledged adult, and, for maybe the first time ever, I feel genuinely happy. I feel content and optimistic and hopeful about my life and the direction in which it's going. But there's one event that definitely takes the cake in terms of amazingness.
If any of you have been following me for long enough, you might remember an earlier review I did for this film. In it, I described how THE STRAIGHT STORY had become my inspiration for reconnecting with a friend who I treated like dogshit. Well, your long wait of bated breath is finally over, because I am here to tell you that…
It's considered the odd film in David Lynch's lineup because it's relatively normal, but there are still quite a few Lynchian touches here, and really if composer Angelo Badalamenti just used creepy music in some places, it could feel almost like Twin Peaks. Instead, Badalamenti's score is warm and wonderful, and Lynch's movie takes its sweet time, meditating to the scenery, surveying the human landscape for its inherent kindnesses, and listening to its protagonist (a great Richard Farnsworth) speak through the filter of his humbling experiences. It's humane, picturesque, thoughtful, funny, and emotional -- a pretty great Lynch film, and another winner from 1999.
It's just so weird to see David Lynch make such a tame, strangely kind of nice film? But he did, and it's pleasant the whole way through, if a little tedious.
I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. For me Lynch is a master of all things weird and bizarre yet there is nothing weird and bizarre about The Straight Story it's his most straight forward film and for me it's up there with his best.
Quite possibly his best looking film, boring to some, the shots of the fields and sky were beautiful.
The acting is first rate and it's an interesting tale but not an exciting one. It's slow and little too sentimental plus I lost count of the number of cornfields and farms your presented with on screen. I guess there's nothing really wrong with it, the dialogue is very good backed with interesting characters but I just didn't find it particularly engrossing.
Begins with aerial shots of combines raging through fields, then descends its focus on the never-ending "highways" that make up this country. Yet, nobody would argue that it's a straight story - there's old people behaving weirdly, characters coming into the frame to say a few lines before disappearing, Spacek's occasionally menacing mental disability - but like the best of Lynch's work, the constraints put upon him are advantageous, allowing him to dabble in the dreamlike and surreal without sputtering into a loop of feverish self-parody. Definitely see this as a celebration of country eccentricity, not condescension, mostly because of Farnsworth's unflinching embrace of the platitude riddled protag.
Sig: What do you need that grabber for, Alvin?
O trocadilho do título com o nome do protagonista, Alvin Straight, não se limita à forma linear com o que filme é narrado. É ainda ilustrativo da simplicidade do personagem e da motivação deste em completar a sua jornada, sempre seguindo em frente. É comovente sem precisar apelar (muito - mas temos que dar um desconto, por ser produzido pela Disney).
Supreendemente ver um diretor que normalmente abusa das ilusões e do roteiro não linear fazer um filme tão... "reto". E com isso David Lynch prova (não que precisasse) a sua capacidade de produzir obras primas tanto surreais quanto reais.
The poetry of simplicity.
tspdt 910 2015
actor: Sissy Spacek as Rose
character: Alvin by Richard Farnsworth
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…