Projections - Movie Reviews

The Straight Story

Richard Farnsworth can make a film all on his own.  With the help of very fine direction by David Lynch in a departure from the style of film he is known for, we are treated to a brilliant understated emotional ride.

Alvin Straight (Farnsworth) at 73 receives a call telling of his brother's stroke.  No longer eligible for a drivers licence and using two canes to walk around, Straight decides he must visit his brother Lyle, to bridge the gap that has existed between them for the past ten years.

He informs his daughter, Rose (Sissy Spacek) of his intent to use his old lawn mower to make the three hundred fifty mile trip.  Very quickly he finds his old mower will not make the trip so he buys a 1966 John Deere for three hundred twenty five dollars for the trip.

The pleasure in the story lies within the interaction with folks he meets on his journey.  The film is slow and easy going but never dull.  We are able to watch as he counsels a young girl, through the use of sticks, that her family is of value to her; we learn of his painful secret from World War II; his separation from and affection for his brother; and how he uses his limitations to help twin brothers.  An average couple come closer when the husband offers to help Straight and we learn from Straight that he is stubborn.

Filled with the joys of life The Straight Story is a pleasure to watch and, in the end, we want to stand up and cheer for Richard Farnsworth.

The Straight Story

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