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…
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.…
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…
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…
A beautifully made change of pace from David Lynch.
Richard Farnsworth was such a genuine man, so endearing and in this, his best role, shows why. A great script filled with believable characters in an unbelievable situation, The Straight Story is a delight.
It would be nice to see more like this from Lynch.
The Straight Story is like a collage of beautiful, perfect moments. It's the story of one man, but at the same time it's everyone's story.
A humanistic masterpiece from the master of the strange and surreal. Who'd have thought?
You take one look at Alvin Straight and you would think he's just a nice, ordinary old man. And he is, both. But he does something extraordinary, by visiting his brother out of state -- on his John Deere tractor.
Every scene is played just right. And Richard Farnsworth is the perfect, understated Alvin, and his eyes who an ocean of thought and memory.
It's a calm, slooooow, peaceful trip, with a few stops that allow time for Alvin to meet all sorts of different people, all who can learn from his experience. The film reminded me a bit of "Sling Blade," in that it takes its sweet time, but never drags.
It's a quiet poem of a film, a zen voyage. Oh, and it was made by David Lynch.
a beautiful story and film
David Lynch has made many nightmares, but this is a dream. Is Lynch a fan of Kiarostami?
That's all it took for this film to leave me close to devastated and crying in my chair alone.
Then the other 95 minutes came.
David Lynch created something with this story that I thought was impossible. I've heard about this film for so long and knew exactly what was happening. But, I couldn't help but feel so much emotion for Alvin and his situation/family. It's such a simple tale but one that has so many layers and such a beautiful performance that holds it all together from Richard Farnsworth. In Alvin I saw so many different things, each one leaving me in tears or with a big fat smile on my face. And I was totally okay…
David Lynch's name on a Disney-movie?? That's something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, so already at the Disney-logo in the beginning, this movie had managed to hook me. I couldn't stop imagining having the Disney-logo stamped on a movie like Blue Velvet or Eraserhead though, that'd be hilarious. With all that joking aside, what did I think of The Straight Story? Well, I kind of loved it to be honest, and I am truly grateful to fellow letterboxer Steen for recommending it in the tag-game.
When I get old, I want to be like Alvin in this movie. When his life feels bad, he's old and not in very good shape - he decides to pay his…
What a wonderful film. So elegantly and delicately written and acted and so full of poignancy. Some very touching and thoughtful moments. In particular, discussing with another elderly gentleman, their experiences of World War II. I thought the casting was also superb especially with Richard Farnsworth in the title role. The main message seems to be that it's never too late which it never is.
With opening titles like that (one of the most surreal moments in the man's career, and that, my friends, is saying something), you just knew something special was in store.... one way or the other.
i didn't ask for these feels
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- The Captive
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- Goodbye to Language 3D
- The Homesman
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…