5/13/2005

The Straight Story

Not sure how to write reviews on Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, I decided instead I would watch Straight Story, one of Lynch's simpler films, much like The Elephant Man it is based on a true story. So it's always a little hard to know where the truth ends and the fiction begins, but I'll try and write a nice review for what I felt was a great film.

I'm not sure if spoilers are possible for such a film, but there may be spoilers herein.

Well to start with none of the actors were too familiar to me, never hearing of Richard Farnsworth, I had only ever heard of Sissy Spacek for playing Carrie, and Harry Dean Stanton, whom I had somehow remembered from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas; playing the very small part of a judge :P ... But now that I remember I also saw Everett McGill who is older than mum :O ( no offence intended by this remark, I just thought him to be about 20 years younger :P then again, 1990 was 15 years ago :D )he never looked that old in Twin Peaks, so when I saw him in this I was surprised at how old he looked.

Anyway, on with the film. First off such a story sounded a little strange when put next to David Lynch, especially alongside Disney :o But then he did also direct Elephant Man, although that did have an almost surreal subject :/

For a short summary on the story, it is based around one Alvin Straight (Farnsworth); whose health is slowly deteriorating finds that the brother, Lyle (Stanton) whom he has not spoken to in 10 years has had a rather bad stroke. Beginning to go both blind and lame, and without a drivers license he decides that he will drive to his brother who lives in Wisconsin from Iowa on a lawn mower.

So the thing I ask myself is how will this be noticeable as Lynch's film and not some run of the mill film.. well it can :P For starters the Straight Story shows oddball characters in a small town(s). Most noticeable of these was the woman that ran over deer, that bit was so weird it made me laugh ^^ there were the strange almost random conversations, the misconception of a party between Rosie (Spacek) which made me laugh, I feel weird saying it was cute, but I do not really know how else to explain my liking of that scene.

Ok before I just start spouting more 'bits' that I liked in the film, I should explain why it was in fact good. It wasn't fast-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-action, I mention this all the time with such films, but it did not rely on sex or violence to sell the story, so maybe it didn’t do too good in the box office for this reason, but not everyone is attracted by violence and sex, some people are looking for a story, which this film has.
A very down to earth story, which I took personally as a story on the dangers of the loss of communication between siblings. As said in the film;

“There's no one knows your life better than a brother that's near your age. He knows who you are and what you are better than anyone on earth”

A awful truth when siblings tear away from each other for frivolous reasons, being a twin myself, and not apparently being very close to my ‘other half’ I realise this dangers, and I always like it when I feel that it some distant way, I can connect myself with a film. I remember also doing this with Philadelphia, thinking, wow when I die no one is going to care :P it was awful.

Some aspects that I can name for not liking were mainly the volume of Lynch's films.

The Straight Story, although very different in context to Lynch’s other films, proved just as good. Leading me to give it;

Cptalbertwesker rating 8/10*

*I say it is a great film, and it was. Although I tend not to rate over 8 for a film unless it changed my life or something ^^

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