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…
The Straight Story is a film that no one could have seen coming from the twisted and strange mind of David Lynch. I’ve just made a partial mistake: it didn’t technically come out of his mind; it’s based on a true story and Lynch didn’t even write the script. This time his name appeared only after the words “Directed by” and that was enough. This is quite possibly the finest road film I’ve ever seen and without a doubt it is an absolute masterpiece of cinema, and another gem of the '90s.
It tells a poignant story of redemption and forgiveness seen through the eyes of a 73-year-old man with a poor health who against all odds decides to take…
That old coot!
Richard Farnsworth, in his fine, final performance, plays Alvin Straight, a persistent, stubborn old man who wants to patch things up with his brother, a recent stroke victim who lives a couple of hundred miles away. But how will Straight, a legally blind farmer who cannot drive, get there? By lawnmower, that's how!
David Lynch (!) directed this beguiling, charming little story rife with sweet moments and a wholesome, feel-good spirit.
One of the most moving screenplays that I remember, supported by the great performance of Richard Farnsworth.
Walt Disney Pictures presents a film by David Lynch....................... Dafuq
David Lynch appropriately plays it straight for "The Straight Story". You kept waiting for the joke to come but it never does. The man seems like he knows the American Midwest. Richard Farnsworth deservingly received an Oscar nomination for his work. Sissy Spacek probably should have gotten one as well.
THE STRAIGHT STORY was directed by David Lynch. This is important to know when it comes to evaluating just how straight the story is. The film is based on a true account of one man's eventful odyssey by lawn mower, motivated by a need to reconcile with his estranged brother before it's too late. Lurking just below the narrative, however, are hints of something not-quite-said in the linear account of Mr. Straight's trip -- something that deepens our understanding of his past and the real reason for his extraordinary, redemptive pilgrimage. Outstanding direction, with evocative visual composition and visceral clues, beautiful music, brilliant vistas, humane perceptions, and varied moods and atmospheres throughout combine with some of the best acting I've…
"a kind person talking to stubborn man"
- 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
- The Homesman
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…