The Straight Story

The Straight Story
  • 1999
  • US
  • 1h 51min
  • U
  • Directed by: David Lynch
  • Written by: John E Roach, Mary Sweeney
  • Cast: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton

Midwestern old timer Alvin Straight is hell-bent on being reunited with his estranged, terminally ill brother so he takes to the road aboard his motorised lawnmower. Farnsworth's lead performance is honest, heartfelt and credible, while Lynch maintains his fascination with the inherent strangeness of small towns and lost highways. But, in this sublime snail's pace odyssey, modern psychosis is replaced by old time decency.

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From director David Lynch comes a lyrical portrait of one man's real journey across America's Heartland. Filmed along the 260-mile route that the actual Alvin Straight traversed in 1994 from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin, "the Straight story" chronicles Alvin's patient odyssey and those he meets along the way. When not rolling along at five miles an hour aboard his '66 John Deere, Alvin encounters a mixed bag of strangers - all of whom benefit from his homespun wisdom.

This is last film you’d expect from the director of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Elephant Man. It’s gentle, totally free of shocks and, above all, totally true to its subject. Alvin is played by veteran stuntman Richard Farnsworth - Alvin’s aches, pains and difficulty in walking are real - and the film is immaculately photographed by the 82 year old British cameraman Freddie Francis (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and many more). Both star and photographer died soon after completion.

A total delight to be savoured!

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Reviews & features

Fighting against stereotypes with Luminate and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

14 Oct 2013

The festivals tackle negative perceptions about aging and mental health respectively

The traditional festival – a condensed blast of hedonism, centred around loud music and a youthful, party atmosphere – has been increasingly replaced by careful curation and a desire within the arts to reach out beyond its usual audiences. The Scottish…

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