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…
Having watched The Straight Story for the first time this evening, I'm certain that I've missed a component that is required to enjoy the film. Because, at risk of sounding culturally destitute, I spent the 112 minute running time in a state of perpetual boredom. For whatever reason, I just couldn't engage with a story that moves at the same pace as its septuagenarian protagonist. The Straight Story is not entirely unenjoyable (Freddie Francis' cinematography is mightily impressive and the real-life story that lends the film its narrative is remarkably moving) but it demands a lot of patience and, sadly, this was not a concession that I was able to afford David Lynch's film. Whilst I suspect that that reality may be to my detriment, I am comfortable with my fallibility and cannot feign affection for that which does not arouse it.
One-time Oscar nominee Richard Farnsworth gives his acting muscles a final workout as Alvin Straight, an elderly man who, on hearing of his estranged brother's ill health, drives 300 miles on a lawnmower to visit him. David Lynch - working from an existing screenplay for once - lulls you into a false sense of insecurity at the top, with Alvin living in a small town populated with oddballs. (Sissy Spacek is great as his slightly strange daughter.) But once Alvin's journey begins, the familiar Badalamenti strings give way to a more pastoral theme for acoustic guitar and violin, for this really is Lynch going family-friendly. It's gentle, though not frivolous; what comedy there is is black (see the excellent sequence…
While it's pretty surreal to see that Walt Disney castle followed so closely by the words, "A film by David Lynch", that S-word holds little sway over what is to follow. As the title states, this is "The Straight Story" but that does not mean that it is out of place among the rest of Lynch's output. That early scene of Dorothy sunning herself in the yard could easily be right out of Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks. The same goes for all the various characters Alvin lives with and comes across on his journey. Yet instead of playing them for menace or ridicule, Lynch instead chooses to take this languid road trip as an opportunity to show us that…
The Straight Story is a Disney, G-Rated, biopic directed by David Lynch. I know, I know, that's an absolutely absurd statement. Every single one of those descriptions goes completely against what David Lynch is mainly known for, and what I love about him as a director. There is no brutal fucking murder to be found in this one. But, like with The Elephant Man, he shows that he is a competent a director when he tackles a much more human, grounded, story. While I think he truly shines when he is filming the surreal and the absurd, he does a better job with this kind of movie than 99% of directors would be able to do.
I think it's very…
just like all of lynch's films, there's a ton of stuff going on beneath the surface of this movie. and to be able to pull that off in a Disney film, rated G as well, and still make a distinctly lynchian film, is really something special. photography is beautiful as always, and that sense of foreboding dread is missing compared to his other films. very peaceful in spirit and a nice watch if you want to relax and just look.
My new favorite Olsen Twins movie
One of the most beautiful and emotional films I've ever seen. An old man, a wise man on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of North-America. He has lived a life filled with mistakes and misery. The humanity, compassion, decency and love that is emitted by Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) made me think about my life and the roads I'm headed down. There is weight behind every word that is spoken by Alvin, and I'm not ashamed to say that I have never cried as much as I did watching this masterpiece.
The straight story reveals David Lynch's film making mastery like no other film of his. When I think Lynch I think of mystery and the paranormal, but this is as down to earth as it gets in cinema, and I loved every second of it.
Después de ver 'The Elephant Man' me picó la curiosidad por la otra cinta de Lynch que tenía en pendientes y que no había tocado por la misma razón que la antes citada.
Las reseñas de ambas películas podrían ser la misma. Ambas están basadas en personajes reales y se trata de emotivas historias sobre autosuperación. Ambas son bellísimas en su acertada fotografía, estrechamente ligada al tema de la película. Y ambas tocan temas conmovedores sin caer en sentimentalismos. ¡Viva el David Lynch todoterreno!
Possibly David Lynch's most natural movie which tells the story of Alvin Straight and his epic journey to visit his gravely ill estranged brother. Richard Farnsworth played Alvin in the final role before his death only months after the release of the movie.
- 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.…