The Straight Story ★★★★★

Angelo Badalamenti's score swells with pure emotion. Similar to another brilliant and beautiful story, Paris, Texas, (there's way too many commas there) this is about a man on the path to redemption. Similar to that movie, this is a pure mannered, unmelodramatic weeper.

Little by little, this curious man is unpacked like a Russian doll. Across Iowa to Wisconsin, cornfields galore on his small lawn mower, we're truly in the midwest. And as the film unfolds, we're confronted with a man whose crippled old frame belies his brutal past: a past of war and alcoholism and brotherly love and loss and children reared amidst violence and tempers. It's almost unbearably close to home.

I think Forrest's stellar review sums it up best: "Alvin isn't yearning for his golden yesteryears; he's being haunted by the memories of his wrongdoings. He only has one life, a life that he is coming to the end of, and he fucked it up. He fucked it up with everybody. "

I remember things that have happened to me. I've been kept awake all night long just thinking about them. I feel anger at my own helplessness in those situations.

But nothing quite eats at me like regret. Regret for something I did, for pain I caused, or regret for something I failed to do. Because that means I caused someone else great pains and many sleepless nights. It makes me angry at myself, but worst of all: it makes me feel worthless.

David Lynch is an expert at showing the disturbing underside of regular folk. The beautiful colors, the camera work, the poetic but sparse script, the stunning performances. They're all there and they're all to be greatly admired.

But beyond all that, this story offers what all the best stories do: no matter how fucked up life gets, not matter how much you get fucked up or fuck it up, there's always hope.

Thank you Forrest, for pointing me towards this film. I hope all is well with you, buddy.

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