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…
tspdt 910 2015
actor: Sissy Spacek as Rose
character: Alvin by Richard Farnsworth
Just when I was beginning to grow tired of Lynch's mind-bending dreamlands, in he comes with perhaps - alongside The Elephant Man - his most accessible and tear-jerking movie to date. The Straight Story, aside from its pun, is exactly that; it's a man, his John Deere lawn mower and you, on a trip across Iowa and Wisconsin to reconcile with his stricken brother. Nothing else.
It's not perfect. But, as you'll read everywhere else, its characters are rooted in the realities of the mid-West and its potentially saccharine narrative never puts one foot into the afternoon Channel 5 grave. Worth a watch if for no reason other than to sway those not convinced by Lynch's other work into admiring him for the adaptable director that he is.
The Straight Story é o filme mais experimental da carreira de David Lynch. Quero dizer, do ponto de vista do próprio diretor, é claro.
kind old man's face as a playground for my tears <3 most frequently used word in reviews : tears
to me this film emphasises the importance and beauty of being grateful
how did you be so lucky
how did you be so glad
Songs arrive even in the mail box
Songs keep coming
even happy to be sad
cherish your disney grandpas
My first David Lynch movie. I saw it in theatres with my mom. It's subdued and straightforward by Lynch standards, but I still have a soft spot for it. It reminds me of my grandpa.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Damn, can David Lynch do drama. Once again he's showing us he's not only extraordinary at suspense and journeys through the unconscious mind, but a fine storyteller. The movie has just the right amount of drama and reality. Richard Farnsworth's performance is nothing short of spectacular, his vulnerability and hard-headness are bottom deep, and I found myself on the verge of tears in more than one moment.
Also, this is not your usual Hollywood drama, it touches a few thorny subjects, starting with the fact that it intends to tell the story of a 73 year old man (plus, a farmer from Iowa), which is an unusual thing, seeing that not many people are interested in tales of an "old geezer" riding a lawn mower. Well, it was definitely worth the trip, not only for the encounters he had during it, the beautiful landscapes, but also for the looks the brothers exchange in the last scene, absolutely priceless.
David Lynch és un mestre. Fins i tot quan s'atreveix amb històries tan simples i emotives com aquesta. Obra mestra.
David Lynch is a genious. Even when he dares to tell stories so simple and touching like this one. A masterpiece.
Ik heb hier niet zo veel over te zeggen..
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…