The Straight Story

{4/5} “At my age I’ve seen about all that life has to dish out. I know to separate the wheat from the chaff, let the small stuff fall away.”

Alvin’s brother has suffered a stroke. Even though the two of them said unthinkable things to each other 10 years ago, he decides he needs to go and see him. Since Alvin doesn’t have a driver’s license, he takes his riding lawn mower on the road with a trailer behind it. He doesn’t have much money, so at night he pulls over and camps in a field. Although the trip takes several weeks, he finally sees his brother.

The Straight Story was released in 1998. It’s based on a true story.

It’s a slow moving movie that probably wouldn’t get made today. It’s a gentle story with no bad guys and no car chases. If you’re a fan of Richard Farnsworth, say from The Grey Fox, and you have patience then you might give this a try.

There’s not much story — it’s all about the character of Alvin, who stubbornly persists in the face of the various obstacles that are thrown at him.

Alvin meets some friendly people along the way. He tells one fellow World War II veteran a story that he’s never told anyone else.

The music with a country flavour is by Angelo Badalamenti (A Very Long Engagement).

Richard Farnsworth (the TV movie Anne of Green Gables) plays Alvin. Sissy Spacek (Blast From the Past) plays his daughter Rose. Harry Dean Stanton (Alien) briefly plays his brother Lyle.

The movie was directed by David Lynch (The Elephant Man). Although Lynch is known for his unusual movies, this one is more straightforward.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 9:05 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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