THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999)

straight-story-header

Directed By: David Lynch
Written By: John Roach & Mary Sweeney
Cinematography By: Freddie Francis
Editor: Mary Sweeney

Cast: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton, Everett McGill

“The Straight Story” chronicles a trip made by 73-year-old Alvin Straight from Laurens, Iowa, to Mt. Zion, Wis., 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.

Surprisingly never boring. I only say that because the story is so simple. This is the easiest and most coherent of all of David Lynch’s film. Yet feel naturally part of his oveure,

The film is a slice of americana, That doesn’t over indulge in it’s sweetness. Nor does it ever tip it’s hand to the audience. Instead it lets you discover things. It’s just a rather simple film from a master director. Who for all of his artistic vices that usually make his films require a R or worse rating. actually makes a film that is G rated.

We must remember he did grow up in the midwest and shows he still has the small town boy inside of himself. He as an eye for it. Plus it is usually the setting for his early films.

With this film he silences his critics. Showing he can make a regular mainstream film and not only that still make it exciting,While keeping his artistic freedom. There is nothing here that leaves you puzzled nor nothing that is hard to understand.

The films themes are about family and emotions. Not much are shown, but you can feel it all around the film. Which is also new for Lynch as most of his films display emotion, but usually have a coldness to them.

This film is as universal and american as apple pie.

Richard Farnsworth keeps out attention on him, Even when he isn’t necessarily doing anything on-screen. He is so good. He was one of these aging character actors who had charm and earthiness about him of experience. Not one of these leading men, who look like they were pampered most of their career. So in effect you really feel they are the character even if you have seen them a bunch of times in other films. The role was offered to John Hurt and Gregory Peck. While either of them would have been good. Farnsworth just fits in and lives the role. He was nominated for a best actor oscar and probably deserved to win for this film. Unfortunately this film was to be his last. Shortly after it was released he killed himself.

The film even shows you the vintage beauty of this country. Roads, Farms and fields. Something special effects can’t compare to. Seeing the vastness is breathtaking. it’s nice time to time to get away from urban landscapes and industrial monstrosities.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this film as much as i did. That is why i avoided it on the big screen, but Mr. Lynch has amazed me once again. The film is so impressive yet feels so basic, but you know a lot of work and care went into the film and makes it look polished yet effortless.

There are no chapter stops on the dvd because director David Lynch felt that the film should be seen as one whole experience and not in parts as a bunch of scenes.

GRADE: A

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