Voting
Quality
Age
 
Voting
Quality
Age

Сomments

for old ratings
David Lynch is one of the most talented directors working today, and yet he may be my least favourite, because his contempt for the audience, his own characters, and humanity in general seeps through almost every frame of his films. Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr. are all the work of a sophomoric satirist who has pretensions of being an "artist"...and much to my dismay, many critics (and audience members) seem to lap up Lynch's juvenile fantasies. In The Straight Story, Lynch departs from his usual style...so much so that one would be hard-pressed to realize this is a Lynch movie. This is a quietly moving, powerful tale about an elderly man named Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) who sets out on a cross-country odyssey to visit his dying brother and try to make peace with him. What makes Straight's journey remarkable is that his method of transportation is riding on his old tractor...and since the trip takes Straight hundreds of miles across America, he meets several interesting characters along the way. Perhaps inspired by the bravery and audacity of Alvin Straight (who apparently did exist and had similar adventures in real life), Lynch keeps his stylistic excesses to a minimum and views this story with a compassion and respect for human behaviour the director has rarely shown before. For most of the film, Lynch simply observes Straight and lets him reveal his life's story to us slowly. Straight is embodied by Richard Farnsworth in a wonderful performance: he is completely natural and believable from moment to moment, and by the end of the movie, we understand that Straight is a flawed man but an innately good one as well...he may have had a falling out with his brother, but he also truly loves him. The Straight Story also benefits from a strong supporting performance by Sissy Spacek as Alvin's daughter Rose. The film is not completely perfect: there are still a few too many secondary characters who seem Lynchian in their eccentricites. Yet despite its occasional missteps, The Straight Story has a warm and remarkably gentle tone: it celebrates middle America rather than satirizing it (as Lynch did in Blue Velvet). The Straight Story is so involving, it almost makes me want to forgive the misanthropy and pretentiousness that Lynch has displayed in his other films. Almost.

(BASIC)
I remember the true story of the farmer who drove his tractor through fields, rather than on roads, through Iowa and I believe, Missouri.

I suppose that seemed a filmmaker's dream.

The Straight Story (TSS) for me was a nice looking, very well acted (Farnsworth) but predictable director's baby. I am from the cornfields of Illinois, and they looked beautiful here.

Farnsworth's performance as he nears the Mississippi River is touching to the point of tears.

I found Sissy Spacek a distraction, even though I am sure she went through a lot of research and practice to perform that rather unique impediment of speech.

She was basically thrown away at the key final act of the piece.

A problem I had with the ending was the brother. Horribly miscast. Farm country is not varied enough for them to have such markedly different accents. And I'll leave the completely different ethnicities alone.

The film was nice, but the story fell short of a Wild Strawberries.

:fresh: but forgettable



Mulholland Dr. is a film that I have grown to look down upon; however, it is hard to deny the appeal Lynch brings to his films. I decided to give The Straight Story a chance; I must admit, I did a great thing.


The Straight Story simply put, is a straight story. It's just a true story about an old who drives 300 miles on his tractor to visit his stroke-ridden brother whom he had fought with years before. It isn't that simple, since there is a beautiful story lying underneath the surface.


David Lynch delivers perfectly without overdoing anything. He lets everything flow along, just as it should, without forcing or twisting anything. Lynch uses his unique flair to add some flavor to the film to make the film more charming than it should be. Though some complain the film is boring, I felt there are no dull moments in this film. There is always something happening, whether Lynch catches it on screen, with captivating cinematography, or beyond. He works wonders for the film and I can't imagine anyone else having directed it.


The screenplay is filled with wit and sweetness. The dialogue is innovative and fresh. It captures the essence of true Americana. The characters are developed extremely well, especially Straight's and his daughters. The plot moves along in a terse manner with skill as Straight interacts with several people throughout the town. My only problem was the way time passed. I thought the script should have included a few more scenes reflecting the time span. The beauty of the screenplay lies in the reflection of life through the eyes of Straight. The story is told from his vantage point, giving us a subjective view. I especially loved the allusions to the bible and the relationship to contemporary life. I felt there was a strong connection between Wild Strawberries and this flick, but the script is completely different. Lynch takes the screenplay and executes it with sheer beauty, making it an enthralling experience to witness.


Richard Farnsworth's performance blew me away. He gave a sense of sweetness to his character. His soft voice moved me. His sensitivity and kindness touched my heart. He embodies Straight and progresses the emotionally touching story. He didn't overdo his part, but simply played naturally, as if he wasn't even acting. Sissy Spacek, although only in the first half of the film, gives a stunning performance as an autistic woman.


Angelo Badalamenti...the composer...the genius! The music is so lyrical without any words, like the music of the Sirens. The theme song, with the soft plucks of the guitar and the fragile sound of the fiddle set the mood so delicately that it is IMPOSSIBLE to deny the ingenuity of Badalamenti. His score for The City of Lost Children touched my heart in ways I never imagined, but the score for Straight Story led me to feelings of glee at the celebration of life.

All in all, The Straight Story is poetic and touching, akin to Wild Strawberries. It is a must see for any fan of Bergman; nevertheless, Lynch followers won't be disappointed. It deserves a 9/10, but I felt the film pales in comparison to Bergmans masterwork, since Lynch uses dialogue and sound over images (like the scene where he tells the story about his WWII experience).
[url="http:

Considering that I declared I, Robot as the eleventh biggest flop of 2004 I'm only too glad that it turned out to be a dependable and completely watchable sci-fi adventure. Certainly, I'm not too familiar with the Asimov story so perhaps that's why I can appreciate Proyas' film as unique summer fare. I was still suspiciously aware throughout the film that the premise might have warranted something even more cerebral and thought-provoking but I'm also appreciative of the originality and ideas present in this Will Smith-starrer.

The FX are quite remarkable while the narrative is reasonably compelling. I admit however that I was baffled several times - who the hell is Vicki? - during the final 15 minutes which pile revelation upon revelation and I'm pretty sure it wasn't due to a lack of analytical skills on my behalf.

Certainly, the individuality present in the Sonny character is a high point and the film becomes a bit too silly when war erupts in the film's climax and robots swarm the screen left and right. I, Robot is at its weakest during such moments but it never veers into outright camp.

My rating: 7.0 (possibly a 7.5 when I find out what really happened at the end) Done: 7.5
At my local UCI they do what they call a directors chair film. I have never been to any but after a recommendation from a friend, I decided to watch this film. I understood that it would cost 2 pounds to see it. I was surprised to find out it was free.

SO even before the film has started I have a smile on my face. All in all this film is slow and for good reason. He travels across the state on a lawnmower to see his ill brother whohas just suffered a stroke.

A moving tale of an old man who needs to make peace with his brother but do it under his own steam.
I first watched this film when studying the films of David Lynch. This is easily one of his most mainstream films, along with "The Elephant Man" - the most mainstream. I bought the DVD soon after and have watched it many a time, as well as forcing family to sit through it.

Last week I saw that it was on at my local cinema so I dragged a friend along to it, and he warned me that his trust in my cinematic taste relied on this film. After the film words escaped my mate, he was very pleasantly surprised.

It should be noted that this is the first (and only) Lynch film where he has not written the screenplay, as it was his wife who drew him into the production after reading of the story in a newspaper.

The film concerns the true story of Alvin Straight, a 73 year old resident of Laurens, Iowa - who has bad hips, bad lungs and a bad diet. He lives with his daughter Rose, who could be called "slow". The film opens much like Blue Velvet, shots of a beautiful landscape fade into one another and we see Alvin's neighbour sitting in the sun. Alvin falls and visits the doctor. He then receives a phone call during a thunderstorm that his estranged brother Lyle has suffered a stroke. It is at this point that we get to see Lynch's quirky sense of film-making. It emerges that Alvin plans to travel across Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin on his riding lawnmower.

With good laughs (a great crane shot joke where the camera tilts up from looking at Alvin on his mower to the sky, then back down to find Alvin has barely moved), and a bit of hardship on the way Alvin progresses steadily on his journey. He meets various characters - a runaway girl, a woman in an accident and is taken in by a kindly family after he experiences mower trouble. This film seems to be good and sweet, and for a majority of the film it is, but darkness tinges this idyllic image of Americana. Alvin talks with an old war veteran about his experiences in World War 2, he tells youngsters how being old has few good points, and tells the tale of how his daughter's children have been taken from her by the state, despite her lack of culpability in an incident which led to a child of hers being hurt.

Lynch enlisted the help of Freddie Francis as his cinematographer (the pair worked previously on The Elephant Man), and the visuals are stunning. This is the first film that I have watched on the small screen first and then gone to the cinema to see it, and there is such a massive difference. Any home cinema system no matter how elaborate cannot compete with the real silver screen and seeing images of corn fields, and Alvin riding with a beautiful sunset in the background look damned impressive. And now to the most impressive thing about the film, the score. I have always been a fan of Angelo Badalamenti, and this film cements my love for his work. Without him I feel the film would not be nearly as moving as it is, nor would it be able to sustain a story which has little or no action. The acting in the film also kept me amazed, Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek and even smaller parts such as Harry Dean Stanton's are well acted. I will continue to watch this movie again and again, it is a classic and I never thought a movie about a guy on a lawnmower could be so good.


The Straight Story (1999, Lynch) ~ David Lynch making a G-rated film? And it has no sex, violence or bizarre gobbledygook? David Lynch, one of the finest working directors, is vastly known for his nightmarish, dark, bizarre -- almost Kafkian -- films. However, with The Straight Story he has crafted a story so simple and yet so powerful and so beautiful that it is rather hard to forget. Who would have known that Lynch, master of the twisted and the strange, could have accomplished such a feat? The optimism that continually underlines the film's surface constitutes one of the film's most pivotal elements, given that the film speaks to us about death, grief and the life that lies beyond -- all narrated in the most classic of ways, with passion and love. Richard Farnsworth delivers a mostly brilliant performance that can be often melancholic and bittersweet, and Sissy Spacek gives, yet again, fine support. The cinematography, visually stunning, is delightful, as is Angelo Baladamenti's score, lovely as few others. The Straight Story enchants the viewer with its humbleness and sincerity; it communicates with the viewer in simple yet fascinating ways, and most important of all, it remains a film true to life.

THE STRAIGHT STORY
(DAVID LYNCH, 1999)
G
1 HOUR 52 MINUTES
***/****

Pro: Farnsworth. The ending. Alvin's wisdom. The secret comes out. Lynch not being Lynch. Based on a true story.

Con: Moments of nothing (pacing). Spacek.
Report a problem