The Straight Story
directed by David Lynch
This is clearly not a film for everyone. Many people on hearing the plot synposis would say: "..That's IT?? Bor-ing." I'll freely admit before I saw it, I thought I would be one of those. I have a low attention span for films sometimes. But what The Straight Story lacks in action-packed excitement it more than makes up for in flawless character development, beauty of the countryside and simple storytelling. Unlike Lynch's other films which are stylised to within an inch of their lives, Story is one of the most naturalistic films anyone has made in any era. One is reminded that Lynch is an artist photographer as each image is a loving snapshot of the heartland of America.
Its charm may be lost on the young and hurried but to me it's a timeless tale of brotherhood and the stubborn will of the old. Sometimes, perhaps, that stubborness is all the old have left.
The ultimate scene when Alvin finally sees brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton)
"D'you ride that thing all the way out here to see me?"
"I did, Lyle."
Is a wonderful, affecting moment which feels 100% true and brings a tear to the eye. Even eyes as dry and stingy as mine. You do have to be in the mood to watch this movie but when you are, it's a special thing and the central performance (Richard Farnsworth, rightly Oscar-nom'ed) is magnificent.
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