The Straight Story (David Lynch, 1999)
David Lynch is in my opinion one of the greatest filmmakers right now if not one of the bests of all time. He has his own vision and his films are unique and personnal. Lynch is more a visual artist in is approach to film than a simple director. David Lynch's films are one of a kind and unique experiences. Each one feels special and distinct from the others.
With The Straight Story he surprised everyone. A simple story without any eerie elements and or strange characters. Based on the true story of Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth), a 73 years old Second World War veteran that lives with his daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek). His brother who lives 600 miles from him suffers of a heartattack. It's been ten years since the two brothers talked to each other. Alvin decides to drive his lawnmower (he doesn't has a driver's licence) to his see his brother and to make peace with him. On his way he will encounter many characters whom will learn and grow from Alvin's experience in life.
The deep and sober performance that Farnsworth offered in his final film in The Straight Story is worth the film alone. He is touching as this man who needs to exorcize his last demons. In a wonderful supporting role, Sissy Spacek portraits the only character that can be called Lynchian. She has some "handicap" and she is a little slow but her heart is bigger than the world. Like Lynch's Elephant Man this a film that feels human and real. In the images, the structure of the film, and the feelings. It even felt a little oversentimental. Well, having read the last lines I must repeat the name of the director of this film: David Lynch! It pretty uncommon to see this kind of film made by him. But he handles the road-movie so well and the sentimental touch that we can forget this step away from his fantastic metaphorical masterpieces. He managed to deliver a deep human landmark in his filmography with The Straight Story.
Angelo Badalamenti's score is simple and beautiful it feels right along the many nice shots of wheat fields.
I loved this film and I really recommend it because it makes you have a good time and it is interesting to see something "normal" from one of the weirdest director out there!