The Straight Story

A G-rated Disney film, and yet it's still a genuine David Lynch movie. He brings his often mesmerizing, measured pacing and out-of-step conversational style to The Straight Story (1999), the true 1994 story of Alvin Straight, a 73-year-old man who drove for six weeks on a riding mower—across two Midwestern states!—to patch up a decade-long feud with his estranged brother. Richard Farnsworth portrays Straight with unvarnished dignity; the luminous Sissy Spacek is excellent as usual playing his daughter. It's a non-ironic celebration of small-town values set to the unhurried pace of Alvin's puttering mower. Days melt together as he drinks in the late-summer colors of the prairie, and simply watches from the shelter of a barn while rain falls outside. Yet Lynch never lets his tale slide into melancholy or sentimentality. He never patronizes the final journey of a simple old man, but instead lets the quiet moments of wonder and connection give Alvin's odyssey meaning. (G) SEAN AXMAKER

Sat., Jan. 14, 4:30 p.m., 2012

 
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